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8.3 Naming Convention: Why was it chosen?

By Villa-
Jan 9, 2004
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  1. Hiya! Was just wondering if any of you had an answer to this, as my teacher is giving out 1% to my final mark if I can get the answer he wants. So far these are what I've gave him:


    This is the e-mail I sent the teacher:

    > Is it....
    >
    > 1) Memory was costly at the time so they used shorter names?
    >
    > 2) They took it from CP/M in order to make file transfers between CP/M and
    > DOS easier to manage?
    >
    > 3) There are 32 bytes containing things such as: File, address, length,
    > time, date stamps, while 11 are set aside for the 8.3?


    And this is what i got back:

    All you mentioned in your e-mail was correct, except you didn't tell my why 8.3
    was "chosen."


    Any more ideas?
     
  2. SubKamran

    SubKamran TS Rookie Posts: 166

    No homework help ;) Google is your friend.

    If we tell you, we helped you cheat ;) You're supposed to learn it.
     
  3. SubKamran

    SubKamran TS Rookie Posts: 166

    I changed my mind. I can't find anything on this :D I'd like to know too!
     
  4. SubKamran

    SubKamran TS Rookie Posts: 166

  5. Villa-

    Villa- TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The point of this is to search absolutely everywhere. He isn't limiting us to where we can find it, as long as its not form another class-mate. We're allowed to use others as help.

    I've been searching for awhile now =[
     
  6. SubKamran

    SubKamran TS Rookie Posts: 166

    I couldn't find anything. Jeez, you'd think it'd be easy :(
     
  7. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    I've read theories about this, and usually discussions about this end up saying there's no real answer.

    First one from http://www.mackido.com/Innovation/FileNames.html :
    Because to do things (like copy a file), you had to type in the entire file name (and path name), people used lots of abbreviations and concatenation to reduce typing. This is why CP/M (DOS) used 8.3 (8 charaters + a 3 character suffix).

    Second:
    If you've come across with the name Gary Kildall during your research, count the letters in his name. This doesn't explain why it wasn't 7.4 though.

    Third:
    8.3, 8 + dot + 3 = 12 characters, compressed nicely with RAD50 into two words. However, CP/M does not compress filenames, and RAD50 was usually used to compress 6.3 or 9.3 filenames (some computers were 6-bit back then).

    Fourth:
    It comes from the 12 rows on an 80 column card. One row for each letter, plus the 12th row for a data clock (based on the stereotypical IBM 029 keypunch). A single column was punched in each row to mark the letter from the character set, yielding up to 80 choices per character.

    Fifth:
    There is evidence that Gary was one of those rare individuals with both DEC and IBM influences in his background. DEC had established the 3-character file extension as a standard on its systems, and IBM mainframes of the time had 8 characters as a common namespace size. Put the two together, and you get 8.3.

    Sixth:
    DEC's RT-11 used 8.3 filenames, and CP/M was developed using it as a guideline. This doesn't explain where RT-11 got 8.3 though.

    Seventh:
    Kildall chose 8.3 because he liked it.


    So, which one do you choose?
     
  8. Villa-

    Villa- TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well, i gave him most of those and got:




    So why did UNIX have it, with it being different all other OSes.

    Some sound like you're just guessing. I consider only solutions, not guesses.
     
  9. Shiney

    Shiney TS Booster Posts: 157

    Another area to think about is the File Allocation Table, maybe that had something to do with it :)
     

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