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I have noticed that a large number of photographers when naming there files on pc, insert a_between_words_like_this. Is this just a personal preference thing or is there some reason for not leaving a blank space between words...

Comments (10)

I don't know if there is a technical reason for the underscore, and I am sure some body will correct me, but a long time ago (well it seems like that), when PC's used DOS and when Windows first arrived, you could not put a space into file names, so you either ran all the words into one, or you used an underscore to represent a space. Mind you in those early days you were limited to how many characters you could use for file names..

I think that changed around the time of Windows NT, and spaces became ok in file names - but old habits die hard. 8-)MacSpotUK..

Comment #1

Do you have an example? I'm not quite sure what you're referring to..

For plain text forums like this, where we don't have italics or bold to emphasize words, some people use underscores. Like, "But girl I mean _damn_ did you see that." Usually I prefer using asterisks, ex. "Naw, I can not *believe* it."..

Comment #2

I try to leave out any special characters in filenames..

Basically I stick to the 26 characters of the latin alphabet plus the arabic numbers and underscores and dots..

Special characters like and so on can be very problematic on computers with a different language setting.Characters like ? ! $ & and so on can be difficult on some older systems..

Spaces are neat but can be a pain in linux because you have to insert a slash before each one..

Every system has it's own quirks in dos up to 6.2 you were restricted to 8 character name + 3 Character extensions, even in newer dos version longer file names are basically a hack..

In Linux and MacOs you don't use extensions to determine file formats and you can have filenames almost as long as you want, but special characters are more difficult to use..

Windows might refuse to delete a file if there are very exotic charcters in the name..

In URLs spaces have to be converted to '%20' other characters have to be transformed as well..

If you stick to the normal characters and numbers and use dots or underscores to delimite the words, you should have no problems with any current system..

Bye,Philip..

Comment #3

I can't see a technical reason for this... other than spaces leave some doubt perhaps as to whether there is one space or two. As a computer tech, I would rather "see" the characters that make up a string, rather than spaces. There is no ambiguity with a real character..

Albert-OColoradoPlease visit me athttp://www.berto.zenfolio.com.

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Comment #4

Cosilver wrote:.

I can't see a technical reason for this... other than spaces leavesome doubt perhaps as to whether there is one space or two. As acomputer tech, I would rather "see" the characters that make up astring, rather than spaces. There is no ambiguity with a realcharacter..

Not quite. An underscore doesn't fix this problem. You can't tell two spaces anymore than you can_tell__two underscores, easily...

Comment #5

Cosilver wrote:.

I can't see a technical reason for this... other than spaces leavesome doubt perhaps as to whether there is one space or two. As acomputer tech, I would rather "see" the characters that make up astring, rather than spaces. There is no ambiguity with a realcharacter..

There is no problem storing the filenames, that is true and most filesystems allow pretty much any Byte Value to be used in a filename, but how are you going to use a slash in a filename, if the slash is also used to indicate directories?.

The sequence "view /home/photos/vacation/1.jpg" could be intrepreted as a command to view the file "/home/photos/vacation/1.jpg" in the current directory or the file "1.jpg" in the directory "/home/photos/vacation" or any permutation thereof..

There are other reserved characters, like the wildcard "*" which is often used as a placeholder for any file, or the double dots + slash "../" which are sometimes used to refer to the parent directory..

There is a more detailed description here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filename#Reserved_characters_and_words.

I usual try to stick with the POSIX model, I just don't manage to stay in the length limitations..

A practical exmple where special characters in filenames can become a problem is for webdevelopment, if the page is created on a windows system, the server runs linux and the filename also has to be stored in a database. Any webdeveloper I know follows some strict rules for filenames..

Bye,Philip..

Comment #6

I'm a fairly old-school computer type. I automate a LOT of things at the command-line, and dealing with filenames is quite simplified if none of the filenames have spaces in them. Commands have to know when one argument ends and the next begins, just as English uses spaces to break up words. You can sometimes use quotes or special characters to denote when a space is part of a filename instead of a gap between filenames, but as I said, it's simpler without..

[ e d @ h a l l e yc c ] http://www.halley.cc/pix/..

Comment #7

Ebyolian wrote:.

I have noticed that a large number of photographers when naming therefiles on pc, insert a_between_words_like_this. Is this just apersonal preference thing or is there some reason for not leaving ablank space between words..

I use visible characters such as underscores just for a little insurance against the possible braindead application that might parse a filename upon encountering a space. It's probably not really necessary these days for the most part. I'm just still a little paranoid after encountering so many PC applications that trounced long filenames in the period following their initial appearance under Win95.

Does anybody remember the "C:1/4ONGRTLNS.W95" billboards that Apple ran back then?  .

'Here, look at the monkey. Look at the silly monkey!'.

Tom Younghttp://www.pbase.com/tyoung/..

Comment #8

Ebyolian wrote:.

I have noticed that a large number of photographers when naming therefiles on pc, insert a_between_words_like_this. Is this just apersonal preference thing or is there some reason for not leaving ablank space between words..

There is a technical explanation for this  I'll use an analogy, which is not perfect, but should work as an exemplification..

You'll have to understand that a lot of file operations are done at operating system's level. And that a lot of users (and programs!) still use those functions..

For example, if you want to copy all your files from a folder to another, you'll type:.

Copy * [destination_folder].

And that would do:.

Copy file_one [destination_folder]/file_oneand so on..

Let's suppose you have two files: one named "z.jpg" and the other "z.jpg format c:".

What happens when the second file hits the copy command?  Yup, trouble..

Of course, there are some safeguards against this, but better safe than sorry..

Another example would be fetching a file in a browser..

There could be confusions between:.

"GET "https://www.yoursite.com/index.html screenshot.jpg"and"GET https://www.yoursite.com/index.html".

And so on..

There are also problems with capitalization. Some OS make no distinction between index.html and Index.html, other do..

/d/n.

[edit] A very funny explanation here: http://xkcd.com/327/.

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Comment #9

Because some operating systems have problems with spaces in file names...

Comment #10

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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