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Re: Renaming files on win32

From: Steve Greenland <steveg_at_lsli.com>
Date: 2004-12-21 22:27:26 CET

On Tue, Dec 21, 2004 at 08:37:56PM +0100, Norbert Unterberg wrote:
> Windows does preserve filenames quite well. On windows, a file named
> "Test" will keep its name with an uppercase T at the beginning, and a
> file "test" would keep the lowercase "t". The difference between windows
> and *nix is this that windows does not distinguish between these two
> when comparing file names. If you open "Test" then windows will happily
> open "test" if found in the correct directory. So you can not have
> "test" and "Test" side by side in the same directory.

Unfortunately, there are quite a few windows tools[1] that will break
this, so that if you do

   <create Test.txt>
   fooedit test.txt
   <edit file in foo appropriate manner, and then save>

you end up with "test.txt". Presumably this is because fooedit never
checked to see what the filename actually was, and just overwrote the
existing name. Sure, this is a bug in fooedit, but, in the Windows
world, it seems to be widely spread, including a quite a few of MS's own
products. (It's been a while, but VS seemed to have a problem with this.
Of course, it was relatively minor in the long list of VS problems.)

I think this is why a lot of Unixy people detest so called
"case-preserving" file systems, because while it mostly works, it's not
reliable: that is, the *filesystem* might be reliable, but the tools
around it aren't. And to the end user, it appears that files are being
renamed. I suspect this is not a problem in the MacOS world because one
so rarely typed a file name except when explicily (re-)naming.


[1] At least, as of Win98/NT4; I've not been doing significant Windows
work since ~2001. Hallelujah!

"Outlook not so good." That magic 8-ball knows everything! I'll ask
about Exchange Server next.
                           -- (Stolen from the net)
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Received on Tue Dec 21 22:30:46 2004

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