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By Robert Niles
Well simply put....I can't think of anything exceptionably
creative today. Kind of like that writer's block thing you hear
about from time to time. So, if you don't mind, I'll just babble
But I'll babble about something ...ummm..errrr...relevant.
Often I log onto BBSes throughout the United States and I even
dabble a bit overseas (Ma Bell sent me a letter stating that my
LD costs dropped down to about $300.00 last month and they wanted
to know if something was wrong). Well have you ever entered the
file area of a particular BBS, started looking at the files,
seeing the descriptions and all, and wondered about things like:
What version is this file? Is this the same program that so and
so did? The name sure looks alike. What the <beep> is
ROFLWS112.LHA?? What's the difference between DREP111.LHA and
These are things that boggle me at times...going into a file
library and not being able to tell what's what.
So I'll make a suggestion...and of course if your local BBS or
the online service that you call wishes you to do it a different
way...don't go getting them mad at me, but I think this would be
helpful, and would very much improve the look of any database.
Say you have a file called SNOOP141.LHA...well it is usually easy
to tell that the version is 1.41 ...but it could be 0.141 or
14.1. And what is SNOOP anyways? Something to let you spy on
other computer users? A task snooper? What is it??
Best thing to do is keep the file named the same way as the
person who made the archive named it...for the most part, this
keeps the author happy, and it becomes the standard name. As if
this file was named Snp141.LHA on one system and Snoop141.LHA on
another system, one might not know if he/she had already
downloaded it or not. Of course at times you might get a file
called Super_Snoop_1.41.LHA from one system, and you being the
wonderful uploader, might want to upload this file to a system
that only accepts the 8.3 filename format (ie: ffffffff.eee).
What should you do?? Well there's not always a BEST answer but
try to take the main part of the program name and shorten the
rest...like SSnoop141.LHA then if you still need to shorten it,
take the vowels out. First the vowels that aren't relevant to the
name, and then if you still have to remove the vowels from the
name, do so, but at the same time, try to keep the meaning
intact. Like SSnpr141.LHA. No special rules here, but common
Next, you upload the file. And the system asks you for a
description. Here's the best place to really tell others what
this file is!
Often I see something like this:
File : Snoop141.lha
Description: Task snooper.
Doesn't tell you much and it leaves you guessing.
A good format would be something like this:
File : Snoop141.lha
Description: Snooper v1.41, by Marco Polo. A system task snooper.
Simple...it lets the downloader know what it is..if he has that
version...or something newer, and it gives a good idea of what
that file is for. If you have more room for a longer description,
great! Add all the information you feel is needed. But if you are
in a hurry, or hate typing...a short description like the one
above really helps. It helps the Sysop(s), the people who will be
downloading the file later, and anyone who might be trying to do
a search for it. He can search by the program name, the file
name, the version, the author, or by what the program is supposed
Well, I'm done babbling now, take care and happy BBSing!