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Debundlator 1.06

Debundlator removes the unneeded 'bundle' resources from PostScript font drivers; this can greatly reduce Finder's workload in keeping track of files, giving your Mac a snappier feel and improved stability. Simply select a folder in an Open... dialog, then watch as all the drivers in that folder (and all its folders) are debundled. Follow debundling with a clean desktop rebuild (a la TechTool), and your Mac will be happier than ever.

'Debundling' refers to removing the BNDL, FREF, icon, and 'signature' resources that are normally used to identify applications to Finder -- bundles are how Finder knows which documents and icons belong to what applications.

In a tradition started years ago by Adobe (like, back when Macs were first making the move to color screens ;-), most PostScript driver files "pose" as applications by including bundle resources, to give themselves a unique desktop icon. This bundle info can take up a fair amount of space, and adds to the load on the Mac's hidden Desktop files. For instance, a print shop workstation with 2,100 'working' drivers, 2,100 backups, and 500 drivers from clients has 4,700 possible extra bundles on it; that makes the Mac's Desktop files work like there's an extra 4,700 apps.... [read more about this]

Debundlator removes these resources; normal options also save results to a cumulative log, and save copies of unique icons to storage files placed with the drivers. Debundling is not complete until you perform a 'full' Desktop rebuild, preferably with a utility such as the freeware TechTool. After Debundling and a full Desktop rebuild, your Mac will run leaner & cleaner -- you will see the difference.

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More Info on Font Bundles

When the Mac was young, it ran off 400K floppies. Yup, it really did. The operating system, MacWrite, and most of your documents all fit on one single-sided diskette; you popped it in, turned on the Mac, and away you went. As you might imagine, file size was a premium; everyone looked to bum any bits they could out of their code.

Of course, since those first Macs were black-and-white, graphics files were inherently pretty small. But that looked to change when the IIx introduced color to the Mac world. This was the start of the desktop publishing revolution, as Apple, Aldus, and Adobe launched the best new use for personal computers since VisiCalc invented the spreadsheet.

Problem was, lottsa folks using PageMaker were still on B&W floppy-based systems -- there were no bits to waste on poofy things like color icon resources. But of course, Adobe wanted its font drivers to show color icons on IIx machines... What Apple came up with was a little hack in the System that gave certain BNDL resource IDs special treatment. Specifically, an ICON resource referenced by a BNDL resource with ID 256 was rendered as red-and-white on color machines, and (of course) black-and-white on B&W machines -- and no color icon resources were necessary.

This was pretty cool -- you'd look inside a font driver with ResEdit, and the only icon resource was a B&W ICON; it was like magic that they'd show up in Finder in color.

As the years passed, though, serious DTP Mac users started paying a penalty for this old trick. BNDLs are how the Mac knows which dox to match up with which apps, and these relationships are all stored in the invisible "Desktop files" you used to hear so much about. A normal Mac might have a couple hundred apps on it at most; not too much of a chore for the Finder. But if you suddenly dump, oh say, 3,500 PostScript drivers onto your drive, the Mac starts to think it's got 3,700 apps all needing to be associated with files...the Desktop files swell up, and the Finder slows down as it considers all this info.

Luckily, PS font drivers don't need to use BNDL resources. They're just hanging around like a bad habit, and don't do anyone any good. After using Debundlator to clear out all this useless overhead, your Mac's Desktop files will once again focus on applications -- you'll see substantial savings in Desktop file size, and Finder will act like it's hopped up on bennies (as we used to say ;-)


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