File names and URLS

David Martland (
Fri, 16 Jul 93 11:18:32 +0100

As a user, I want to know whether there are any inherent conflicts in WWW URLs
and file names. On our Unix system, there does not appear to be a major
difficulty, since file names can be pretty long. However, we also support IBM
PCs, and they share some of the same fileservers. This causes us problems when
we try to access the same files on the IBM network - because names longer than
8 or with extensions longer than 3 get mapped into other filenames.
(My true feelings about this are barely printable....
IBM get your act together....)

Maybe the accessing a file by its URL will still work - even if the names
are compromised, but I rather doubt it....

When the Cello browser becomes available, it is possible that we will wish to
use that on IBM PCs as well as Mosaic on Unix. Presumably Cello will be able
to access our files on our fileservers via a Unix machine, and the correct files
will be retrieved. If, however Cello attempts to get at the files locally, via
the network file server, then the file names could be incorrect!

One other thing is that Cello seems to expect HTML files to have an extension
of .htm whereas Mosaic uses .html

It seems to me that if we use short file names, with 3 letter extensions, then
there may be some chance that we could use single copies of files, without
having to develop complex aliasing mechanisms --- I'm sorry about this - why
the world has to conform to the lunacies perpetrated by IBMs continued attempts
to sell software systems developed using obsolete notions of file names .......

I'll give up now, before the wires burn!

Has anyone else looked at this?