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Subject: Re: [boost] [filesystem] Decomposition of filenames beginning with period?
From: Stewart, Robert (Robert.Stewart_at_[hidden])
Date: 2011-04-07 12:44:52

Beman Dawes wrote:
> Boost.Filesystem class path views filenames as being made up of a stem
> and an extension.
> My Windows Users directory includes files ".gitconfig" and ".netrc".
> The current class path implementation views these as having extensions
> of ".gitconfig" and ".netrc", respectively, and empty stems.
> To me, that's a bit counter intuitive. I guess I view filenames as
> always having stems, but extensions being optional. But I don't view
> that as a strong enough argument to change anything.
> Does anyone have a stronger argument than intuition for changing or
> retaining the current behavior?

On *nix OS's, there are no extensions. There are only filenames. Periods are merely human conventions added in various places to separate filename components. Conventionally, filenames beginning with a period are hidden from normal file listings, but periods otherwise have no specific meaning. Thus, referring to stems and extensions is largely meaningless on such OS's.

The conventions of OS's that support extensions would seem to win the day. There have been good arguments in favor of the status quo because of Windows.

Rob Stewart robert.stewart_at_[hidden]
Software Engineer using std::disclaimer;
Dev Tools & Components
Susquehanna International Group, LLP

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