Obnoxious postings from Google Groups

Chris Angelico rosuav at gmail.com
Mon Nov 5 07:39:35 CET 2012


On Mon, Nov 5, 2012 at 5:10 PM, rusi <rustompmody at gmail.com> wrote:
> Among people who know me, I am a linux nerd: My sister scolded me
> yesterday because I put files on her computer without spaces:
> DoesAnyoneWriteLikeThis?!?!

My filenames seldom have spaces in them, but that has nothing to do
with how I write English. Names are names. They're not essays, they
are not written as full sentences. When a name contains spaces, it
must be delimited (or the space must be escaped, if your environment
permits) any time it occurs inside some other context - most commonly,
as a command-line argument.

Back when I was using MS-DOS 5, it was possible to have file names
with spaces. It wasn't easy to manipulate them from the command line,
but you could reference them using globs (eg replace the space(s) with
? and hope that there are no false hits). OS/2, when working on a FAT
filesystem, would create files called "EA DATA. SF" or "WP ROOT. SF"
or "WP SHARE. SF" (two spaces in each), and most DOS/Windows programs
wouldn't (couldn't) touch them - they were safe repositories for
system metadata (on smarter filesystems, that sort of thing would be
stored as file attributes, not as separate files).

It's nothing to do with operating system. File names are names, and
spaces in them are seldom worth the hassle unless you manipulate those
files solely using a GUI.

ChrisA


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