What's the differences of a Files from Folders?

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by sweater, Mar 18, 2006.

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  1. sweater

    sweater Registered Member

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    Using PowerDefragmenter GUI (contig) there's an options to defragments FILES and also FOLDERS. :rolleyes: :cautious:

    I was a little bit confused...:doubt: in your technical opinion what is really a Files and what is a Folders? :blink: o_O
     
  2. Slovak

    Slovak Registered Member

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    A file is just that, a single file, whereas a folder is a folder that usually holds several files associated with a program, or temp files etc.
     
  3. crofttk

    crofttk Registered Member

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    IMTO, yes what Slovak said but, in the specific context of a defragmenter, "folders" are more correctly referred to as "directories" and are specific clusters allocated to containing the sector addresses of the specific files within a "folder". All "folders", once defragmented, are typically gathered into one contiguous block of clusters on a drive which usually is separate from and adjacent to the contiguous block of clusters that the "files" themselves, once defragmented, have been gathered into, like the green cluster blocks near the end of the drive map shown below:

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v351/crofttk/drivemap.jpg

    But that's just MY "technical opinion".
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2006
  4. sweater

    sweater Registered Member

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    Wow!!! Haven't tried yet PerfectDesk, (only Diskeeper)this is my first time I saw this defragmenter...:D .. it looks very elegant. No wonder it's expensive. :D
     
  5. crofttk

    crofttk Registered Member

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    :D Welllll.... some of that elegance is courtesy of the Windowblinds skin entitled "Cyclops", designed by Mike Bryant. ;)
    I think it still looks rather spiffy even without the skinning:
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v351/crofttk/mapunskinned.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2006
  6. Rmus

    Rmus Exploit Analyst

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    I'm also used to "directories." A search of the forums for discussions of these two terms reveals quite a bit of discrepancy as to their meanings.

    Windows uses both, and a while back, I started some notes in an attempt to sort it out. Any additions and other thoughts about this would be appreciated.


    ---------Begin notes----------------------------------------------------

    In the Command Line Interface days, Directory was used, and if I remember, the term "Folder" was first used in the MAC Graphical User Interface and then "borrowed" by Windows.

    From an article on NT4

    "Folders are desktop objects that function similarly to both the program groups (containing program icons) of the Windows 3.x Program Manager, as well as the disk directories (containing files) of the Windows 3.x File Manager. In fact, all folders, regardless of their contents or nature, are stored as directories on your hard disk. However, as you’ll soon see, the term folder is not completely synonymous with directory, and folders are far more than simple file containers.

    Unlike the disk directories of Windows 3.x products, Windows NT folders can contain many different types of objects, including files, directories, printers, a list of computers, or just about anything else"​


    The CLI (DOS) Help file uses only directory:

    MD Creates a directory.
    DIR Displays a list of files and sub-directories in a directory.
    MOVE Moves one or more files from one directory to another directory.

    Windows uses both terms in the Help File, but not included in the Glossary, so never really defines what they are:

    Active directory domain name
    directory Service Manager for NetWare
    If you are logged on to a directory server
    At the root directory
    If a volume has multiple folders
    The log, Msi.log, appears in the Temp directory of the system volume
    NetWare server volumes, directories,
    volumes that are shared from the volume's root Active directory domain name
    The systemroot\system32 folder
    Network and Dial-up Connections folder
    the Help folder on a server computer
    adding Web content to your desktop and folder
    added to the Printers folder
    each user's personal profile folder
    Also back up the registry to the repair directory will save your current registry files in a folder within your systemroot/repair folder

    Files appear only with folders:

    Your systemroot is the folder that contains your Windows 2000 files
    Almost all Windows 2000 tasks involve working with files and folders
    To display the complete path to files and folders
    Show hidden files and folders.
    offline files and folders.

    But:

    A file name, such as C:\Dir\Filename.


    In the GUI only Folder appears:

    http://www.rsjones.net/imgs/dir-fold_1.gif
    _____________________________________________
    http://www.rsjones.net/imgs/dir-fold_2.gif
    _____________________________________________
    http://www.rsjones.net/imgs/dir-fold_3.gif
    _____________________________________________

    In the Registry, both appear. Some Shell functions are listed under Folder:

    http://www.rsjones.net/imgs/dir-fold_4.gif
    _____________________________________________

    But the DosHere Power Toy (Command Prompt Here), which uses the CLI, installs under Directory:

    http://www.rsjones.net/imgs/dir-fold_5.gif

    ----------End-----------------------------------------------------
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2006
  7. crofttk

    crofttk Registered Member

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    Wow !
    Hehehe....all I can add is that one's comfortability and grasp of what a directory is versus what a folder is probably is a good indicator of one's age.:p

    As I started computing with a Timex-Sinclair (1000 ? -- still have it in a box somewhere) and a cassette deck -- well, except for the FORTRAN punch cards back in my school days-- I think I must have just plugged the term "folder" into a subconscious "look-up table" in my head across from the term "directory" when the term came along with a whole new set of terminology included in first version of Windows I bought - 3.0 perhaps ?

    I know there are differences between the two terms, as you have tabulated, but I've never made a list ! Can't really think of any additions for you.
     
  8. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    to confuse further, there's really no such thing as a "folder".
    MSFT thinks they are being clever by calling a "directory" a "folder", but the terminology is very wrong.

    Conceptually, a directory is just a structure that describes a set of files that are associated by having a common parent.

    Commonly, directory structures are recorded as files and each of these files is usually referred to as a "directory", but all the file does is POINT to other files and directories.

    DEpending on the file system used, directories have to be treated differently than on other file systems.

    For example, with NTFS, one can defrag directories whilst running Windows. With FAT 32 directories, you gotta defrag directories when Windows is not running.

    Most folkes can live with thinking of directories as containers, even tho they are not really containers.
     
  9. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    Heck, long ago, one large computer manufacturer used to call "directories" "files", and what we would call "files" were called something entirely different.
     
  10. Rmus

    Rmus Exploit Analyst

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    To confuse further, Microsoft is not consistent. In the Registry, the Shell "Open" and "Explore" commands for folder are under "Folder." But the "Find" command is under "Directory."

    The dde message:

    http://www.rsjones.net/imgs/dir-find-dde1.gif
    _____________________________________________

    The application:

    http://www.rsjones.net/imgs/dir-find-dde2.gif
    _____________________________________________

    If there is a logic to this, I've yet to find someone who knows.
     
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