4.6 Naming Files
Let's think about a filing cabinet again. If the files in your filing cabinet were called letter1 , letter2, letter3, and so on, you'd never be able to find anything.
The same is true on your computer. You should come up with a descriptive name for each file to create. UNIX systems let you have very long filenames. A few systems have a 14-character limit, but most allow names that are 256 characters long - certainly longer than you will ever need.
I can't tell you how to make a filename descriptive, except to
suggest that rather than using names like letter
, you make a filename
that describes what the letter is about. In the case of a letter,
using the recipient's name may help - assuming that you can easily make
a connection between john_shmoe
and "that's the letter about trends
in gold prices" (though I'd suggest that the name
is an even better name than
). Bruce Barnett has
suggested that, by using long filenames, you
can create a simple "relational database." For example, you could
find out everything you've recorded about the price of gold with a
Similarly, if you're a programmer, the name of each file in your program should describe what the code does. If the code diagonalizes matrices, the file should be called something like diag_mat.c . If the code reads input from bank tellers, it should be called something like teller_input.c .
Another way to distinguish between different kinds of files is by using suffixes or filename extensions (1.17 ) .