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From André Warnier ...@ice-sa.com>
Subject Re: [OT] AW: Unsuccessful stat on filename containing newline in RegistryCooker.pm
Date Thu, 28 Feb 2013 20:12:36 GMT
Randolf Richardson wrote:
>> Alexander.Elgert@external.t-systems.com wrote:
>> ...
>>> I am pretty shure, I tested the capability of filenames on a Linux (ext2) or
Solaris (ufs) filesystem, a long time ago
>>> The outcome was, that you can use 254 different characters, except the '\0' and
the '/'.
> 
> Apple's older pre-Unix-backended MacOS models allowed "/" characters 
> in filenames.
> 
>>> But I agree, it is an annoyance it should be forbidden. ;)
>> The person who invented that spaces and other unprintable characters were allowed
in 
>> filenames and paths should be found, his PC and iPhone should be confiscated, he
should be 
>> exiled to an isolated island in the middle of the Arctic Ocean, and he should be
nominated 
>> for an IgNobel.
> 
> Heheh.  The makers of the Commodore 64 are off-limits because 8-bit 
> gaming was practically revolutionized by it.  (Yes, that's right, 
> spaces were permitted in filenames on the Commodore 64, so this 
> silliness came about before the PC and the Mac gained popularity.)

Thanks for this tidbit.  I really thought that some marketing guru at Microsoft was the 
original culprit.

> 
>> The person at Microsoft who decided that "C:\Program Files" was an 
>> acceptable place to install programs should be sent along as his
>> butler.
> 
> That really was a ridiculous decision, and lately they've taken it to 
> new heights by adding yet another "C:/Program Files (x86)/" path that 
> contains two spaces and parenthesis.
> 
> Given that "C:/Documents and Settings/" has since been changed to 
> "C:/Users/" I'll take that as a sign of hope that a "C:/Programs/" 
> directory may be on the horizon (but I'm not holding my breath).
> 

I wouldn't either, not without a couple of scuba-diving breathing bottles.
If only because
- on a Spanish Windows PC, the directory is called "C:\Archivos de Programas"
- on a Portuguese Windows PC, it is called "C:\Arquivos de Programas"
- on a greek Windows PC, it is "Αρχεία Εφαρμογών"
- on a German Windows PC, it is called "C:\Programme" (that must definitely be an oversight)
(And yes, I know that one can sometimes use %ProgramFiles% instead, but why would one have

to do that ?  Doesn't anyone who ever used a computer understand the word "programs" ?)

In truth, Microsoft is not alone there.  An Apache httpd by default installs under a 
(created) directory named "Apache Software Foundation" of all things. One would think that

/they/ at least would know better. But no.  Why make it simple when annoying will do ?

Gimme C:\Perl anytime.

I am ranting, and I know it.  But the basic fact is that " ", in 99% of programming 
languages and OS shells, is a meta-character that normally acts as a separator between 
arguments, keywords, parameters, whatever.  So electing to allow it in paths and filenames

was a bad decision, which has cost so far millions of unproductive hours to be spent, and

will cost many more millions before a reasonable parade is found.
Whether it has been lost by good_programmers or bad_programmers is a moot point; there are

only so many star programmers around, and the others need a job too.
If the time lost because of that original mistake had been put to productive use instead,

we might today have an environment where we just tell our computer in general terms what 
needs to be done, and it produces a first draft of the code to do it. Or we might have a 
HTTP 2.0 where the default character set is Unicode and UTF-8 is the default encoding.
But I guess that this is another subject for another rant sometime.


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