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Old-Style Path Reference

Posted on 2008-10-03
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Last Modified: 2008-10-04
I was talking to a gentleman with Lexis Nexis support yesterday, and we came across what he referred to as an "old style path."  It contained tildes "~".  He also said that there were character limits.  Will someone provide me with the "old style path" rules?  In other words, how do you convert a standard path, like the following into an old style path.

C:\Program Files\FileZilla Client\filezilla.exe
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Question by:jdana
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by:Dufo G. Belski
ID: 22632894
I'm not sure what you are trying to do, but try enclosing the path in quotation marks, i.e., "C:\Program Files\FileZilla Client\filezilla.exe".
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MattRichardson earned 63 total points
ID: 22632896
8.3 is the filename rule

The eighth character in the string "filename" becomes a tilde "~"

C:\Program Files\FileZilla Client\filezilla.exe
c:\Program~\Filezil~\filezil~.exe

a better explaination can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/8.3_filename
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by:LeeTutor
LeeTutor earned 63 total points
ID: 22632914
He is referring to the old DOS pathname convention, or short file name with 8.3 format, meaning there are up to 8 characters in the file name proper, followed by up to 3 in the file name extension  (in filename.ext, "filename" is the file name, and "ext" is the file name extension.)  There cannot be spaces in a short file name.  Take a look at this article, especially rule number 3 in the section called "Overview":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/8.3_filename
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by:roorks
roorks earned 62 total points
ID: 22632941
The old style path was when windows was still running on top of DOS with its 8.3 file name structure.  When windows recognized a long name, it would keep the first 6 character and replace the rest with the tilde character and a number.  This change is stored in a mini database on the drive, and if successive files came up with the same name after truncation, it would update the number.
In your example "C:\Program Files\FileZilla Client\filezilla.exe" would look like "C:\Progra~1\filezi~1\filezi~1.exe"
However, to answer your question, the file system would convert it on the drive, and display it normally in a Windows environment.  You converting a path would only be for reference.
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by:Dufo G. Belski
Dufo G. Belski earned 62 total points
ID: 22632947
Well, Matt, that's wrong about the 8th character becoming a tilde, as demonstrated by your own link:
"If the filename contains characters not allowed in an 8.3 name (including space which was disallowed by convention though not by the APIs) or either part is too long, the name is stripped of invalid characters such as spaces and extra periods. Other characters such as (+) are changed to the underscore (_), and uppercased. The stripped name is then truncated to the first 6 letters of its basename, followed by a tilde, followed by a single digit, followed by the first 3 characters of the extension. Example: "TextFile1.Mine.txt" becomes "TEXTFI~1.TXT" (or "TEXTFI~2.TXT", should "TEXTFI~1.TXT" already exist). "ver +1.2.text" becomes "VER_12~1.TEX".
However, enclosing the path in quotations if you want to use it in, say, a batch file, works in Win NT , 2000, and XP, at least.  I don't know about Vista.


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Expert Comment

by:MattRichardson
ID: 22632989
Sorry for the quick answer, but the reference is solid!
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