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Question: Are you down with .plists going binary in 10.4?

My Answer: Not really. I use(d) BBEdit and some CLI tools to edit .plist files in 10.2.x and 10.3.x. Now, what, PList Editor?

You are encouraged to answer the Question of the Day for yourself in the comments or on your blog.

8 Responses to "QotD: PLIST"

  1. I used to use vi to edit them, so no, I'm not down with it either. I seem to recall seeing that they can be converted back to text, though.

  2. They went binary? I don't pay attention I guess.

  3. I am not down. I never could get a good reason why moving to binary was a "good" decision.

  4. (The binary format has been around for a while, since 10.2 I think. What changed now? Is it the default format for new plist files being created?)

    I've always preferred the custom text syntax -- it has the best balance between readability and compactness, while the XML format has neither. And, best of all, they made a Simpsons reference in the text-format's specification! Hell yeah!

    The binary format will be harder to work with, but anything is better than that depraved XML format. There's always Plist Editor.

    Personally, I'd rather stare at Goatse for an hour than manually work with XML plists for ten minutes. I hate it with the fury of a thousand suns.

  5. It doesn't bother me much. It's faster and smaller, and editing them isn't really that difficult:

    plutil -convert xml1 ~/Library/Preferences/com.barebones.bbedit.plist

    bbedit ~/Library/Preferences/com.barebones.bbedit.plist

  6. I am also not down. Maybe BBEdit will come up with a little piece of mojo where it auto-converts plists to text on opening and back into binary on saving (if it was binary to begin with). That still wouldn't help other tools, but I pretty much only used BBEdit to deal with plists.

  7. I'm not down. I've always used BBEdit to edit plist files.

  8. It's not too hard to make an alias which runs plutil to convert it and then invoke vim on the converted file. So I don't really care.

    I wish Apple would replace Property List Editor with something usable, though.