Talk:Path (computing)

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In the Windows APIs and the DOS APIs since v2.0 (DOS v1.x didn't have directories) both "/" and "\" are valid path separators.

The problem is that & cmd.exe (and in general: most command lines) treat "/" as an option prefix (I think this had originally something to do with CP/M compatibility) and because of that you can't always use "/" as a path separator there (you can when putting quotes around the path).

And some interesting posts from a discussion on the Python mailing list about this: — Preceding unsigned comment added by JanC (talkcontribs) 11:59, 8 May 2005 (UTC)

This isn't true on Vista, and I would imagine not on Windows 7, either. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:22, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

Ok, great detective work. But why are we starting the section MS-DOS/Microsoft Windows style by talking about the exception instead of the rule? Why don't we start off mentioning the general rule that \ is used more often in Windows, and then mention the fun fact that you can often also use /? It'd also be great to switch the order in the table in this manner too.
--Qwerty0 (talk) 00:57, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

Unix conventions[edit]

PATH is the name of a variable which $PATH refers to. So the text should be PATH and not $PATH. See env (Unix). --DLL 17:09, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

ARC paths[edit]

If someone could add some information on the ARC paths used in boot.ini on WinNT systems please do. Dustin 17:56, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

Japan and Korea[edit]

Why do Japanese and Korean versions of Windows use different directory separators? --Abdull 07:59, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

The backslash article says the usage of the yen and won character is due to different symbols in the Japanese and Korean versions of the ISO/IEC 646 character sets - so is it some kind of mojibake issue...? --Abdull 16:42, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
I just added some clarification. Check and edit it please.—Gyopi 04:30, 28 August 2007 (UTC)


How does Mac OS distinuish between a drive and a directory? Is Letters:BankManager a file in the Letters directory, or a file in the root of the Letters drive? Jgharston (talk) 22:22, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

Before Mac OS X, I'm not positive, but I don't think paths were actually used to uniquely refer to files, so it might just be ambiguous. Classic Mac OS used "aliases" to refer to files, which was more like a direct reference based on a unique, automatically-assigned ID. Kind of like UNIX inodes. Note that this use of the word "alias" is slightly different from alias files that you can make in the Finder. As for OS X, there are UNIX paths under the hood, and drives have mount points like any other *nix. OS X has aliases too; various programs will use either aliases or paths or some weird combination to refer to files. (The preferred convention is for GUI apps to use aliases for open documents, but programs ported from other OSes might not fully respect this convention.) Any use of classic-style, colon-separated paths under OS X is for legacy reasons; it's mostly been phased out. (talk) 16:43, 1 July 2012 (UTC)

it's the drive. Classic Mac OS had no environment variables so the relative path would be :Letters:BankManager (equiv. to ./Letters/BankManager)