Known issue: Uploads in Resources using Firefox assigns wrong file type

Published on: Author: Mathieu Plourde

Clients have reported that some files in Resources in certain Sakai sites do not download or open properly. After some testing, our team discovered that uploading files using the Firefox browser (Mac or PC) assigns the wrong file type, and creates issues for clients downloading or accessing the file.

How to detect the issue:

In Resources, the icon next to the file name will look like a blank piece of paper instead of the application logo (such as Word or PDF).

File types represented by their icon

Clicking on a file with this blank icon prompts the client to download it instead of opening it up directly in a separate browser tab (when available, for PDF files, for instance). Also, the wrong file type in Actions > Edit Details cannot be changed.

What to do (for students and faculty):

In most cases, the client can still open the file using the right software (MS Word or Adobe Reader). Once you have located the file on your computer (usually in your Downloads folder), right-click on it and select Open With… > [name of the application] (Windows) or by changing the file association (Mac). If you still can’t open the file, notify your instructor and the IT Support Center with as much detail as possible, including the course name, where you found the file on the course site, what type of file it is supposed to be, the file name, etc.

How to avoid the issue (for faculty):

Although we do not officially support Safari, Chrome, or Internet Explorer for Sakai, if you experience the symptoms described earlier, uploading your files using any of these browsers assigns the file type properly. We also recommend to delete the corrupted files and re-upload fresh copies. Note that this is not an endorsement of other browsers to use Sakai in general, but only a short-term workaround.

What’s next?

IT Academic Technology Services and IT Web Development are investigating potential solutions to avoid this issue in the future. Contact the IT Support Center (submit a request, email consult@udel.edu, or call [302] 831-6000) if you have questions or concerns.