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Dots used within file names

Old 12-23-08, 10:41 PM
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Dots used within file names

What is the guideline for using dots within the name of a file, particularly as the last character before the extension?

I have multiple files that end with acronyms, and I would rather not remove the dots or the spaces between each letter. I know dots are acceptable-- I've seen them used as spacers countless times-- but I'm wondering what the general thought is about them. Are there any problems I could have with those files if I keep the dots?

--THX
Old 12-24-08, 03:23 AM
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I hate people who use dots as anything except a file type separator. I have had some problems at times, but I guess they're supposed to be okay - let's see what some other people have to say. Personally I use underscores or just run the words together, for example:
Dec08_MtMitake_Viburnum_edule.jpg
or
Dec12_JohnSmith64.doc
or
ForeignStockMarketIndices.xls
Old 12-24-08, 08:08 AM
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In today's OSes, you shouldn't really have an issue. Most modern file systems support having periods in the filename before the separator period for the extension.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filename

Not that since the last period in the filename is assumed to be the extension separator period in Windows, you can't have a period as the very last character in a filename (i.e. "file..txt" is allowed, but not "file.").

The older FAT12/16 doesn't allow periods in the filename apart from the separator, but those file systems are also limited to 8.3 filenames. If writing to this file system, Windows will automatically convert your file to a valid 8.3 name, and supply a LFN (Long File Name) for the file that matches what you originally named it for Windows to read.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/8.3_filename
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_filename

The ISO 9660 standard for CD-ROMs also doesn't allow additional periods in the filename. Typically, the burning software will alert you of incompatible filenames (too long, incompatible characters) and suggest an alternative, probably replacing the period with an underscore. Windows can add the Joliet extension to ISO 9660, allowing for more naming options. Like with FAT12/16, the burning software will rename a file to an appropriate ISO 9660 filename, then supply the original filename in the Joliet extension.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_9660
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joliet_(file_system)
http://bmrc.berkeley.edu/people/chaf...c.html#allowed

So if you try to use your file on an older OS that can't handle LFN or Joliet, you may find your file is named something odd like "FILE~1.TXT". If you keep to modern OSes though you should be fine.
Old 12-24-08, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by danwiz View Post
I hate people who use dots as anything except a file type separator. I have had some problems at times, but I guess they're supposed to be okay - let's see what some other people have to say. Personally I use underscores or just run the words together, for example:
Dec08_MtMitake_Viburnum_edule.jpg
or
Dec12_JohnSmith64.doc
or
ForeignStockMarketIndices.xls
I agree with danwiz but I don't hate the people.

I name my files just danwiz 2nd example. QualityReport2008.xls
Old 12-24-08, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by TheKobra View Post
I name my files just danwiz 2nd example. QualityReport2008.xls
When Long Filename support in Windows first came out, I may have written files that way. Now, however, I just use spaces. It's easier to read, and every Windows app I know of supports them.

As for 8.3 filename, all of these filenames:
QualityReport2008.xls
Quality_Report_2008.xls
Quality.Report.2008.xls
Quality Report 2008.xls

translate to the same 8.3 filename:
QUALIT~1.XLS
Old 12-24-08, 05:10 PM
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Well - yeah, I don't hate the people, I just think they need a brain tune-up.

danwiz
Old 12-24-08, 05:47 PM
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I never use periods in the filename. I do use spaces.
I also hate how one of Windows' default settings is to "hide extensions of known file types". I always turn that off when I come across a computer with it (in my job, I occasionally work with co-workers' computers, and sometimes I have to change .txt files to .csv)
Old 12-24-08, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by SomethingMore View Post
I also hate how one of Windows' default settings is to "hide extensions of known file types". I always turn that off when I come across a computer with it (in my job, I occasionally work with co-workers' computers, and sometimes I have to change .txt files to .csv)
If you don't want to turn that "feature" off, or someone's pissy about it, you can change the full filename (with extension) by right-clicking "properties". Also, when saving a file, you can enter the filename in quotes with the proper extension. For example, entering "file.csv" in Notepad will give you file.csv , instead of file.csv.txt with the txt extension hidden.
Old 12-26-08, 04:11 AM
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Dots (periods) in filenames bug me, too.

I know that Windows 95+ can handle them, but it just looks sloppy.

And I like to see the extensions, too. Makes it easier to find the file I'm looking for, and I like to know what something is before I open it. I have no idea why anyone would turn the extensions off...
Old 12-26-08, 04:54 AM
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I'm with danwiz. Anytime I see someone use a dot in a filename, I punch them in the face. With a grenade.

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