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Opening .gpx and .gdb files stopped working. These are now displayed as gibberish instead.

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New User

Opening .gpx and .gdb files stopped working. These are now displayed as gibberish instead.

.gpx and .gdb files are associated with Garmin MapSource. They open fine in Windows and even I file downloaded and displayed in the FF d/l manager window can be opened with double-clicking. Some time ago clicking on a .gpx d/l link displayed giberish (XML content) in FF instead of opening the file. Since about yesterday the same happens with .gdb files. Since FF doesn't give me a d/l prompt I can't find a way to associate an action with these file types.

11 REPLIES
Mozilla Support Contributor

Re: Opening .gpx and .gdb files stopped working. These are now displayed as gibberish instead.

Edit: Since you prefer to download them, skip to #2

(1) Could you check the following and see whether those files extensions are still associated with the Garmin plugin:

In a new tab, type or paste about:plugins in the address bar and press Enter.

(2) You might be able to update the association from the Applications tab of the Options dialog:

orange Firefox button or classic Tools menu > Options > Applications

You can type gpx in the search box, pause for Firefox to filter, and see whether an entry exists.

New User

Re: Opening .gpx and .gdb files stopped working. These are now displayed as gibberish instead.

You are onto something here: neither extension exists in about:plugins.

I have already been in App Options, as that is mentioned several times in the help pages. But they aren't in there, either.

It seems FF has forgotten about these extensions. I wonder whether they got nuked either in one of the many recent upgrades or perhaps the Garmin plugin got updated and they got lost that way. I'll have a look on Garmin's support pages to see how to update this plugin, but I don't hol my breath there...

Thanks for your time. Peter.

New User

Re: Opening .gpx and .gdb files stopped working. These are now displayed as gibberish instead.

On second thought: the plugin lets web pages communicate with my GPS. That's not what I want to do. What I want to do (and what worked until yesterday) is click on a file link and then MapSource is launched, which opens the file. I can click other file links and get asked what I want to do, but with these two I don't get any options.

New User

Re: Opening .gpx and .gdb files stopped working. These are now displayed as gibberish instead.

I have tried renaming mimetypes.rdf in the hope that I will get prompted what to do, but that didn't change anything.

Site Moderator

Re: Opening .gpx and .gdb files stopped working. These are now displayed as gibberish instead.

This usually happens if the server sends such a file as text/plain.

New User

Re: Opening .gpx and .gdb files stopped working. These are now displayed as gibberish instead.

Thanks for your reply, cor-el. As far as I can tell nothing has changed on the server or at my end. Try this: http://captainslash.com/maps

Click a .gpx or .gdb file. I just tried that on my wife's computer and same problem. .gdb files are binary files. When I open a .gpx and look at the page source (Ctrl-U) there is no mime header displayed. I don't know whether that means that there isn't one.

The bottom line is: this used to work and suddenly it doesn't. Didn't we have a FF upgrade just recently? Perhaps this is broken in the current version of FF?

Is there no way to associate a file with an app manually?

For curiosity's sake I just tried this in Chrome and a gpx is displayed, while a gdb is downloaded without dialogs.

In IE a gpx is displayed, while for gdb I get a dialog: d/l or open in MapSource.

Site Moderator

Re: Opening .gpx and .gdb files stopped working. These are now displayed as gibberish instead.

The response headers confirm that the file is send as text/plain.

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Server: Apache
Accept-Ranges: bytes
Cache-Control: max-age=5
Vary: Accept-Encoding
Content-Encoding: gzip
Keep-Alive: timeout=10, max=30
Connection: Keep-Alive
Transfer-Encoding: chunked
Content-Type: text/plain

Do a hard refresh via Ctrl+F5 after opening the Web Console (Web Developer > Web Console;Ctrl+Shift+K)

New User

Re: Opening .gpx and .gdb files stopped working. These are now displayed as gibberish instead.

Thanks, I worked my way through this, but now it gets even more confusing. This is where I share my own track logs: http://beddha.free.fr/GPS

Using the console I can see that this is also an Apache server and it also sends the gdb files as text/plain, but here I get a prompt from FF. The option to do this automatically was greyed out until I clicked several different options (a bug, no doubt, I have seen this before). But, with auto checked there is still no entry for gdb files in apps options and I still get code shown from captain slash.

Anyway, I can NOT change what other servers send me. I need to open these files, lots of them. Is there a way to do this the way it used to work?

Site Moderator

Re: Opening .gpx and .gdb files stopped working. These are now displayed as gibberish instead.

You can only use "Save Link as" in the right-click context menu to save files that are send as text/plain or alternatively set the browser.altClickSave to true on the about:config page and hold down the Alt key when left-clicking.