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macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 23, 2020
664
711
a land far, far away...
I just noticed while going through an old folder of saved .webloc files that they only open a blank page in Safari or Firefox and the location shows the path to my local file.

I don't know if this has happened with macOS Big Sur or earlier...
 

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macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 23, 2020
664
711
a land far, far away...
Misteriouser and misteriouser...

I've discovered that .weblocs still work if I drag the location out of the browser onto the desktop or into a folder. They'll open in Safari but getting info shows the possibility to change the default app is greyed out, so I can't change it to Firefox, for example.

It seems that .weblocs created before around March 2010 don't work, those created more recently do.

Opening an old one in BBEdit I get a blank page.

Opening a newer one, like this one that I created right now, I see this:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<plist version="1.0">
<dict>
<key>URL</key>
<string>https://www.rtve.es/directo/canal-24h/</string>
</dict>
</plist>

I can edit the URL and save it as a new one with a new filename and it will work as it should.

eg:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<plist version="1.0">
<dict>
<key>URL</key>
<string>https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/webloc-files-no-longer-open-the-url.2273550/</string>
</dict>
</plist>

What happened in 2010 that broke previously created .weblocs?
 
Last edited:

KALLT

macrumors 603
Sep 23, 2008
5,306
3,336
It appears that Apple changed the format at that time and decided to drop support for the older format in the current version of Safari.
 
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macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 23, 2020
664
711
a land far, far away...
It appears that Apple changed the format at that time and decided to drop support for the older format in the current version of Safari.
Thanks for that. I don't use .weblocs much, in fact I don't think anybody does anymore.

I only came across the issue while looking through old stuff to see what I could delete after installing macOS Big Sur.

It is strange that those old files show as completely empty when opened in a text editor.
 

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macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 23, 2020
664
711
a land far, far away...
It appears that Apple changed the format at that time and decided to drop support for the older format in the current version of Safari.

I wonder if that's the cause of the problem reported here:


?
 

KALLT

macrumors 603
Sep 23, 2008
5,306
3,336
It is strange that those old files show as completely empty when opened in a text editor.
That is because the files themselves are just placeholders. The important bit is the file metadata, among which the URL. Apple seems to have abandoned this format in favour of a simple XML file.

Catalina seems to have had some problems with file icons all around. Big Sur added new functionality to let the system generate file icons automatically. I suspect Apple botched the backport of Safari 14 for Catalina somehow.
 

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macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 23, 2020
664
711
a land far, far away...
That is because the files themselves are just placeholders. The important bit is the file metadata, among which the URL. Apple seems to have abandoned this format in favour of a simple XML file.

Catalina seems to have had some problems with file icons all around. Big Sur added new functionality to let the system generate file icons automatically. I suspect Apple botched the backport of Safari 14 for Catalina somehow.

In fact I don't believe I used .webloc files in Catalina, and most likely not in Mojave either.

Like most users, I imagine, I tend more to use bookmarks or search in a browser history for pages I want to visit again. That's why those files were so old.
 
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