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A_little_underscore_question


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I'm a Mac user and have never really used underscores, but I often see other FM files with underscores in file and field names. Do you need to use them for a file to work on a Wintel? Or will using a spacebar in Mac translate just fine in a cross-platform environment?

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Here's how I name all objects in FileMaker. I use an underscore to replace a space. This is true for file names, scripts, fields, value lists and relationships.

The reason I do this is because I never know if or when a database will need to be accessable over the web using either CDML or Lasso. Dynamic links using either can cause problems if there are spaces, since reference can be made to any object to perform some action on the web.

I use an underscore instead of nothing because it increases readability for me. It's much easier for me to quickly pick out the meaning of Total_Products_Purchased than it is for TotalProductsPurchased.

An underscore at the end of a file name (like File_.fp5) will make it so that the file doesn't appear in the list of hosted files on a server. I don't know it's just the TCP/IP protocol that this works with, but with IPX and AppleTalk (although both seem to be going the way of the dodo). The file is still available to be logged onto, but it must be done through the programming of FileMaker, through scripts.

If you know for a fact that your solution will never need to be accessed using a web browser, there is really no cross-platform reason to not use spaces, especially if you're using the most recent version of FileMaker. However, even with long file names being available on both Mac and Windows, some developers still use the 8.3 file naming convention. I haven't found this to be necessary, but perhaps others here have different experiences.

Chuck

[This message has been edited by Chuck (edited November 20, 2000).]

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