File naming convention

Warren Samples warren at
Tue Jan 25 14:50:39 EST 2011

On Tue, 2011-01-25 at 11:01 -0800, Bob Sneidar wrote: 
> To further complicate matters, in a server share environment, it is possible to copy files with bad characters to a server, and then have the server complain that it cannot find the file, or the file doesn't exist. 
> So follow the mantra, NEVER use ANY special characters in a file name. If fact, when naming anything destined for the network or internet, use only lower case and numbers and if you have to a normal dash. Avoid spaces where possible. 
> my 2¢
> Bob
> On Jan 25, 2011, at 10:50 AM, Calvin Waterbury wrote:
> > Hi David,
> > 
> > The first thing to understand about Windows® file names you can't use the following...
> > 
> > \ / : * ? " < > |
> > 
> > Please take a look at this page...
> >
> > ... highlight the word "period" in your browser.
> > 
> > Here is the word straight from the horse's mouth...
> >
> > 
> > Aside form the above, here is what my own test results yielded...
> > 
> >>    1. docs/hello.txt.html
> > This will be interpreted as a the folder "doc" holding a single file named "hello.txt.html"
> >>    2. docs/hello.txt/index.html
> > This would be interpreted as folder "docs" containing another folder "hello.txt" which contained the file  "index.html".
> >>    3. docs/hello_txt/index.html
> > (Same as above)
> >> and for the image file it would be something like:
> >> 
> >>    1. docs/hello.png/index.html
> > (Again, same as above)
> > 
> > Please note I have only tested this on Windows 7.  If you need more specific testing, I'll try and help if I can.
> > 
> > Fair winds,
> > Calvin

But the "." is not generally a special character. The only caveats I
have come across regarding its usage in filenames involve using it as
either the first or last character of the filename and that the final
period found will be treated as the marker for the file extension in
Windows. Otherwise, as one can infer from available docs and Calvin's
testing demonstrates, the "." is treated as any other character without
special meaning to the OS. Using "." as a word separator in filenames
(and directory names) is a fairly common practice, particularly among
file sharers (mostly using Windows).

Yet another link, just for fun:

The business about the last period in a filename marking the start of a
file extension doesn't seem to cause any recognition problems - a folder
named "xxx.text" is correctly recognized by the file system as a folder
rather than file "xxx" with extension "text" - on the desktop, but to
satisfy any paranoid doubts, you might check that in a server
environment. Otherwise you could have a hard time navigating to such a
directory even though you can call the files it holds.


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