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Mar. 29th, 2011 | 02:39 pm
mood: awakeawake

Please, people, when you publish files (especially documents), name them in a fashion that'll make sense to readers when they return to them later on.

For example, the Wikimedia Foundation just published its annual report for 2009/2010. What do you think the PDF file would be called — "wikimedia_report_20092010.pdf" or so, perhaps?

Not quite; it's actually called "AR_web_all-spreads_24mar11_72_FINAL.pdf". This'll tell a Wikimedia employee exactly what the file contains, I imagine, especially if they're working on the report (annual report, web version, all spreads (?), 2011-03-24, 72 dpi, final version), but someone who downloaded the file and then comes across it on their hard drive a year later will have absolutely no idea what might lurk inside until they actually open it.

Yes, I know, files can be renamed. But still — please, use informative file names. :)
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Comments {4}

Ysengrin Blackpaw

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from: ysengrin
date: Mar. 29th, 2011 01:36 pm (UTC)
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I'm guilty of making "temp14c.txt" type names that irritate me later. I'm slowly getting better about it after many years; I blame coming into computers back in the old eight-characters-dot-three-characters name days.

Of course, I have a folder full of "A36lMD-2A1-DF8B58DF.pdf" and "744e71ff-n4f1-40cf-aaa1-22bce7d99f16f.jpg" from other folks; for some reason pdf and jpg names seem particularly susceptible to incoherent naming.

Not that "catalog.pdf" is any better in the long run. That one is so common that I habitually rename them to company-catalog-year as soon as I get them.

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Schneelocke

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from: schnee
date: Mar. 29th, 2011 07:23 pm (UTC)
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*s* Yeah, I've got a bad habit of doing that, too. When I quickly need to take a note, I tend to open a new textfile, which will then be given a name along the lines of "Neu Textdokument (5).txt" or so; if it ends up being a note that sticks around, I usually rename it, eventually, but I still often have several that don't have any meaningful names.

And yeah, most of my "collected stuff" directories (documents, images etc.) look like that. Part of the reason I tend to not rename things, other than laziness, is that it makes it easier to notice when you're redownloading something that you already saved earlier, but the downside is that you won't usually know what a file contains until you take a look.

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moonhare

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from: bunny_plush
date: Mar. 30th, 2011 02:30 am (UTC)
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I need a Rosetta Stone to figure out what the Hell I was thinking at the time certain files were named. The worst are those old DOS eight character maximum ones.

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Schneelocke

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from: schnee
date: Mar. 30th, 2011 09:21 am (UTC)
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Oh yes... at least with those, you had a good excuse for not using better names, though. :)

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