Naming Files and Directories
In general, Macintosh users will have to be more restrictive than usual
in naming files and directories. DOS and Windows (pre 95) can be less
- Avoid spaces
- Macintosh users like spaces. UNIX machines and URLs do not. Avoid
them. In fact, Fetch, a Macintosh file-transfer program, automatically
converts spaces to underscores when transfering files to UNIX machines.
- Avoid special symbols
- Don't use & # or other odd symbols in your
file or directory names.
- Avoid redundancy
- Don't repeat portions of directory names in the names of files and
subdirectories. For example, in a directory called purchasing,
you might want to create a staff directory. You might call it staff
or purchasingstaff. Since you are already in a directory called
purchasing, purchasingstaff would be redundant. Notice the resulting
- Good: http://www.utexas.edu/business/purchasing/staff/
- Redundant: http://www.utexas.edu/business/purchasing/purchasingstaff/
- Keep names short and descriptive
- Give your files and subdirectories short but descriptive names. Remember,
these names appear in your URL. Also, keeping your names short simplifies
your URLs. So, if you have to communicate one or your URLs verbally
to someone, they are more likely to get it. For example:
- Good: http://www.utexas.edu/research/
- Bad: http://www.utexas.edu/Office_VP_Research/
- Use lowercase characters only
- Unless you have a compelling reason to do otherwise, always use only
lowercase characters in file and directory names. Remember, URLs are
case sensitive. For example:
- This works: http://www.utexas.edu/learn/
- This doesn't work: http://www.utexas.edu/Learn/
(because L in Learn should be lower case)
- Give file names meaningful extensions
- File name extensions are three or more characters that follow the
file name and are separated from the file name by a period. Extensions
convey information about the contents of a file and help Web browsers
know how to display or serve a document. For example:
| - An HTML file.
- A graphic file in GIF format.
- A newsletter in PDF format.
- A video in MPEG format.
Use these extension conventions for files that you create. Note
that translation programs such at RTFtoHTML automatically append a
.html to HTML files that it creates.
- Name your primary HTML file index.html
- If the primary file in your home directory is called index.html,
you need not specify it in URLs. For example, both of these links work,
but the shorter one is more conventional and might be easier for others
to remember and for you to type:
- Okay: http://www.utexas.edu/learn/index.html
- Better: http://www.utexas.edu/learn/
- Create an index.html for every subdirectory you create
- In general, each subdirectory you create should have an index.html
file. Exceptions to this rule might be a graphics subdirectory in which
you store graphics files and a forms subdirectory in which you store