Computer formats like the dimensions of the wheels of our cars are at stake: we are only interested in them when forced and forced. For the wheels, when we need for example their dimensions to buy chains for the snow. For computer formats, when “it does not work”. The objective of this chapter is to understand, mainly for textual documents in the paper version, as well as for photos and videos at the end of this enriched digital version, how it works, to prevent problems or to be able to solve.
The Best Format
The formats we are most often invisible or almost. When we click or double-click on a file name in a folder, on an attachment icon in an email, on a link in an online page, when we enter an address in a browser, “Something is happening”, which is most often appropriate? We watch a film, we hear music, we visualize an image, and we read a text that can also “contain” sound, image, and video. So there is a mechanism that associates the format of each document with a suitable tool. For the epub to pdf converter you will have the best deal here.
This mechanism appears first when the application (the browser, the operating system) performs a diagnosis – it assumes that the document is of a specific format and that it eventually offers us to use a some tool for this document and for all others of the same format. This mechanism also appears when the application does not find an adequate tool. It then asks us to search on the computer used the necessary tool or to install it.
- The computer thus uses a format detection mechanism and maintains an evolving “dictionary” associating with a format the tool to use. It is understandable that a format can sometimes be used by several tools.
- The tool that can process a format changes over time. New versions occur. The version offset between that needed and that of the tool can interfere in both directions. An old version of software may not take into account a new format. Conversely, a version may be unable to interact with a format that is too old.
In most cases, everything is going well. We get a normal interaction. There is adequacy between the tool used and what is provided to it. We can also be confronted with more or less bizarre behaviors, with disturbances. The tool may finally be unable to process what it is responsible for. It can even “hang” or even block the computer.
A format: a (good) form of data
The word “cheese” comes from “forming”, to form dough through a mold). We keep track of it in the word “four me”. In the same way, a format is something that conventionally formats data to represent text, sound, image, video, or a combination of the four. It’s a kind of “template” that puts certain data in certain places. The tools that will process this format expect to find one element in one place, organized in such a way, and another in another place, organized in another way.