1 Reply Latest reply: Mar 27, 2012 4:41 AM by Barney-15E
Lightning George Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I was looking around in the Applications folder and noticed that my browser displayed a page whose URL was file:///Applications/ that contained a pane that started like this (without the borders):

Index of file:///Applications/

Up to higher level directory

(old) iMovie09
(old) iPhoto 09.app
File:.DS_Store22 KB3/19/1218:15:24
Address Book.app
Adobe Reader 9
App Store.app
etc., etc, etc.


I swear (figuratively) on a stack of manuals (that I don't have) that I did nothing (consciously) to trigger the "index" display.  I've figured out that I can create an "index" (whatever in **** that is) of Macintosh HD anytime I want by opening a browser window and keying file:/// into the address line.  By appending a filename from this "index" (wiHti) to file:/// I get an "index" (wiHti) of that file.


I have four questions:

(1) What is an "index"?

(2) Why?

(3) How does Firefox know to do this?

(4) What triggered display of the Index of file: ///Applications/ in the first place?

iMac, Mac OS X (10.7.3)
  • Barney-15E Level 8 Level 8 (42,175 points)

    When a webserver serves out a volume directory, it usually has an index of the directory or can create one on the fly to display the contents of the folder to the www. That appears to be what you are seeing. file:/// is the url for a directory location, just like http:// is the url for a web location. Safari passes those urls off to the Finder for display, and apparently, Firefox will create the index.html file and display that (even though it is a browser and not a server).

    I think that covers 1 to 3. As to 4, I don't know. Maybe you accidentally dropped something from the Applications folder onto the Firefox browser and it indexed the whole directory. I don't use Firefox, so I'd just be guessing.