[its-hackers] File name wild cards

Jack Haverty jack at 3kitty.org
Tue Jun 1 19:18:04 CEST 2021

Well.... Convention 2 is long gone, so there are no rules anymore. You 
can do whatever you want with your file names.

If you're trying to be historically accurate, the typical pattern for 
FN2 was a letter often signifying use of file, followed by your login 
initials, followed by a 2-digit version number.  So, for example, a file 
containing PDP-10 assembler might have been "STRPRS MJFH03" for a 
3rd-generation version of STRing PaRSer that I (JFH) wrote.

That naming convention mostly applied when you put your files into a 
"public" directory for others to use.  Of course there was no file 
system protection or permissions, so it was just a Convention to do so.  
Two digits might not be enough for versions, so I remember keeping work 
in progress in my own directory, until it was finished, debugged, and 
ready for release - so STRPRS might have started life as DSK:JFH;STRPRS 
1 and evolved from there to eventually be "released" as STRPRS MJFH01.

I don't remember all of the prefix letters.   M indicated Midas, U for 
mUddle.   Probably there were some more.  I don't think there was a Teco 
prefix - a file you were editting was likely an M or U instead.

If what you're trying to do is figure out how to search for and find 
files in some directory, the classic way to do that was to read the 
.FILE. (DIR) "file" from that directory, and simply parse the results to 
get all of the file names.   E.G., reading DSK:JFH;.FILE. (DIR) would 
get you a listing of all files in DSK:JFH; -- somewhat like doing "ls 
-ls" in Unix.


On 5/31/21 4:21 PM, rrs0 at earthlink.net wrote:
> Thanks Jack,
> I may have to change the way I have been creating my FN2's (2nd file name). On Twinx xxx.mud or xxx.nbin or
> xxx.fbin would work. On ITS, I always used URSnnn for my FN2, "U" stood for MDL source code and "RS" are my
> first and last initials. I forgot what the FN2 prefix characters for Midas ("M" maybe) Calico , and TECO were.
> Should I drop the prefix letter and <STRING  <SNAME> <UNPARSE .N> where .N is the
> sequence number MOD ( 6 - <LENGTH <SNAME>>)? For me URSnnn would work fine for FN2 and ">".
> Or for the FN2 should I go with " <SNAME>nnn"or "U"<SNAME>nn. I could build in "URSnnn" as special case for "RRS;"
> But that that not a tasteful solution.
>> On May 31, 2021, at 1:52 PM, Jack Haverty <jack at 3kitty.org> wrote:
>> IIRC, there was never any "wild card" mechanism in ITS, other than the use of <> characters.   Most common was just a satiating numeric second name to represent a version number.   But for things where you didn't want any ambiguity, some unique FN2 would be used.
>> In the MIT-DM group, there was at one point in the 70s a scheme for documentation established, called "Convention 2" (I don't remember there being a Convention 1).   I think that's where the notion was created of second names combining the username with a version number.   There was a big push to create "libraries" of software, putting the relevant files into a common directory;  prior to that, everyone mostly kept their files in their own directory.
>> But I don't think there wasn't anything special in ITS to treat such names differently.   If you used an FN2 of <loginname><version>, the > and < would typically pick out the file you expected.   Any specific file was typically created and evolved by one user, so the <loginname> part of that file's name wouldn't change.
>> For what cases does <> not work?   I think of <> as like the Unix shell * convention, but selecting the file name with the numeric biggest or smallest result if there's more than one match. So it should always find something if there's any match on FN1. (<> is something I've always wished Unix had too.....)
>> /Jack Haverty
>> JFH at MIT-DM 1970-1977
>> On 5/31/21 11:19 AM, rrs0 at earthlink.net wrote:
>>> Hi Everyone,
>>> Its been 40+ years since MIT-DMS, I have forgotten wild cards in ITS file names. Still remember "<" ">" for the second file name. I am starting to add file system support too "TT:RRS;ITSPKG >", the muddle package system I'm building. I want to
>>> Find muddle packages in my and other directories to load. Picking second file names to search for is the hard part. For me FN1 MUD or FN1 URSxxx wild work. Most of the time FN2 equal to ">" would work, What should I pick for a general
>>> FN2 to search for in the user directories, So far wide don't have the muddle library system to work with.
>>> 	Rick

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