It's okay to link to zip (or exe or...) files? February 13, 2005 7:17 AM   Subscribe

Genuine question here - and not meant to be a "call out".

When exploring the Text Adventures post I noticed that the Photopia hyperlink was to a .zip file.

I am cautious about clicking on any .zip and .exe files online. Is there any protocol about linking to such on an FPP? At the very least shouldn't one note that the hyperlink is to a .zip by indicating so (i.e. Phototopia [note: .zip file])?
posted by ericb to Etiquette/Policy at 7:17 AM (15 comments total)

I think there should be alerts at the very least.

(Firefox has a cool extension I just found yesterday called Targetalert that automatically labels all links for you so you never get that endless hang when you unwittingly click on a pdf.)
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:37 AM on February 13, 2005

You know ericb, I was thinking the same thing but then I let it slide... just so you know you're not alone.
posted by sbutler at 7:54 AM on February 13, 2005

I 3rd alerts... I don't mind people liking to ZIP files, it should be up to individual people to test it. (Of course, if it's found to be malicious, I suggest the banhammer)

Yeah, we could mouse-over, but it's common courtesy, isn't it?
posted by cheaily at 7:59 AM on February 13, 2005

thanks for the tip, CL. Neat extension.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 8:00 AM on February 13, 2005

This is stupid. Maybe we should go further. A clicked link might contain cookies, or javascript or the website might be written in php or perl. Be cautious about .exe and .zips if you want, it's probably wise in fact. But the rest of the world doesn't exist to coddle you.
posted by substrate at 9:27 AM on February 13, 2005

I demand all links which point to sites using PHP be labeled as such as I am highly allergic to PHP.
posted by thebabelfish at 9:53 AM on February 13, 2005

I post about games is fairly likely to link to exe and zip files, really.
posted by ZippityBuddha at 10:07 AM on February 13, 2005

Links to zipped archives are a very rare occurrence here, so a little "[.zip]" would be nice, yes.
posted by gwint at 10:09 AM on February 13, 2005

zip files can't hurt you, you know. Whatever is inside of them could, but the zip itself can't.

So yeah.
posted by delmoi at 10:25 AM on February 13, 2005

Jesus H. Christ, substrate, who put tabasco in your wheaties this morning?

ericb isn't asking to be coddled, he's just asking that posters do the common courtesy of identifying the kind of files they are linking to. I think its a good idea.
posted by googly at 11:30 AM on February 13, 2005

Mmm... tabasco [warning contains advertisements]. When you start asking for stuff to be labeled you're asking to be coddled. I can sort of understand labelling not safe for work stuff if it isn't obvious that there might be something offensive [warning may contain but most likely contains kittens]. If a post is about titties and beer [warning may contain titties and/or beer] I wouldn't be terribly shocked to come across something not safe for work. In a post about games or other software one of the links may well be a zip file or executable. If it does unless an absolute epsilon [warning contains greek text] minus set up the computer the executable isn't going to be automatically executed, you can scan it for viruses, delete it, reverse engineer it or execute it. Whatever floats your boat. If somebody purposely links to a virus [warning links to a virus] then bring on the ban hammer.
posted by substrate at 1:02 PM on February 13, 2005

Zip files are harmless and don't need to be labeled.

OTOH, exe files should never be linked at all. Link to the site that contains it.
posted by smackfu at 1:43 PM on February 13, 2005

PDFs are harmless but they can be a pain in the arse. I have no strong opinion on this issue, but it occurs to me that there are reasons to label a .zip link beyond the limited danger-factor.
posted by nthdegx at 5:28 PM on February 13, 2005

I think it's pretty much common courtesy to include a little note about any links that aren't normal webpages, if for no other reason than that some people's computers might not be able to deal with the linked files gracefully. I mean, a .zipped up Windows .exe doesn't do a whole lotta good to a Mac user, does it? Anyway, if you're linking to a program, it might be a better idea to link to the program's homepage instead so people can get an idea if it's worth downloading or installing.
posted by arto at 11:56 AM on February 14, 2005

Anyway, if you're linking to a program, it might be a better idea to link to the program's homepage instead so people can get an idea if it's worth downloading or installing.

yeah, good thing i made sure to do that.
posted by jimmy at 8:45 PM on February 14, 2005

« Older World of Warfare Guild?   |   MeFi Swap Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments