naming conventions

Posted by Mark19 
naming conventions
February 10, 2008 02:38PM
I'm on the CMT Awards right now, doing the nomination packages and I have a lot of things I am labeling.

I was taught to use underscores between words and I forget the reason, do we have to do that still? Here is an example...



Re: naming conventions
February 10, 2008 02:57PM
Yeah. Unserscores are fine. So are periods. Just dont use / slashes.

Michael Horton
Re: naming conventions
February 10, 2008 03:01PM
cool, why? Is there something about words having spaces that Macs compute or something?
Re: naming conventions
February 10, 2008 03:07PM
Its an OSX thing not a FCP one. All about paths. Often times the OS will insert a wild character into a space so to alleviate that potential problem leave out the spaces. Works for me.

Shane Ross's excellent DVD on Organizing in FCP covers naming conventions. Google will bring up a few tips too.

Michael Horton
Re: naming conventions
February 10, 2008 03:11PM
sweet, who's the man? you ah!

Re: naming conventions
February 10, 2008 03:22PM
More specifically its a "Unix thang"...
Re: naming conventions
February 10, 2008 05:17PM
Even more specifically... it's a Windows thing.

Windows is MUCH more sensitive to file name letters than mac ever was. Specifically with spaces... they were a huge problem. hence, the "underscore" to fill in the spaces.

Mac seemed to handle the spaces OK, but would sometimes choke on the "/" or "." .

Finally, in the early days of NLE's where you often created an EDL rather than just uprez a sequence, most EDL's could only handle SIX letters. Everything after that just disappeared.

Bottom line, use a "universal" filename structure that can be read cross platform and you'll never get hurt. That usually means NO spaces, ".", "/", and if you want a separator, use an underscore.

Re: naming conventions
February 10, 2008 05:53PM

?That usually means NO spaces, ".", "/",?
These are really the "never use these in a filename" ones, especially no "." as the first character of a file name. A "." at that first position tells the OS that this is an invisible file - could lead to some confusion. Any other position of a "." could mean that the following parts are interpreted as file extension - this might lead to some confusion as well. No "/" as it means a folder/file path - confusing too.
Also avoid "!" (again especially as first char) or things like that, those characters do have special meanings with Unix (and Windows as well).
Just keep the names within characters from "A-Z", "0-9" and "_, -"

Re: naming conventions
February 10, 2008 06:45PM
I have to disagree that you have to use underscores in OSX. I never use underscore separators unless I am porting to a PC at some stage and am unsure what system they are on.

I just went to my current capture scratch and found the longest file name - it was 43 letters and spaces. No problems here with random insertion of letters in the spaces on about a terrabyte of current captures. I don't ever use ? ! . or /, though, because of the Unix thing.

Could it be that this is a left-over furfy?

Re: naming conventions
February 10, 2008 06:50PM
Although spaces wont cause any problems (usually) its in exporting to other machines where the OS might insert a wild and wacky character into a space. By using no spaces you simply wont get that potential problem if it ever occurs.

Michael Horton
Re: naming conventions
February 10, 2008 06:54PM
Yeah...I am with Jude. Unless you are moving to a PC sometime in the future (network / render farm / transferring the project / etc), you don't need underscores or periods. I do it just for longevity. I figure if anyone needs to open my project on a PC and I am not available, it helps the next guy.

Also...depending on your file sharing, I wouldn't make the names too long especially if they are being transferred over a network. Keep it the old stand-by "8 dot 3" naming convention (

When life gives you dilemmas...make dilemmanade.

Re: naming conventions
February 10, 2008 06:56PM
Yeah, but if you never have to go there, why bother with it? It's like driving at 20 in your Ferrari because other people only have ride-on lawn mowers. OK, if you have to talk to the guy next to you driving on his lawnmower, fine, drive at 20, but if not - Autobahn, here I come.

Re: naming conventions
February 10, 2008 07:00PM
Well you often do. For ex: sending off to a ProTools machine. Sort of like sending a file via email. 99% of the time the file is fine. 1% of the time you need to zip it or the file will all go to hell. I dont know why so I zip my files.

Michael Horton
Re: naming conventions
February 10, 2008 07:25PM
I do use spaces because the underscore slows down my typing and also makes a bit more clutter in the Browser and OS. But when I do have to send files, unless I'm sending hundreds of them, I can always make a copy and then rename that, replacing spaces with underscores. Or do what Mike does. Zipping the file creates a copy, so you can conform that .zip file to those restrictions.
Re: naming conventions
February 10, 2008 07:48PM

Apparently you've never heard of ride-on lawnmower racing.

Even in Australia they have their own league.


Of course, the league in Britian is much more established, organized, and predates the colonies by hundreds of years. smiling smiley


So, they might just give that Ferrari of yours a run for the money! ("dots" or not!)

Re: naming conventions
February 10, 2008 08:04PM
HA! now that's funny!
Re: naming conventions
February 10, 2008 08:51PM
Funny! Check this out -

World land speed record attempt on a ride on lawnmower.

Or this ..

Ferrari F430 acceleration which, ok, is not even the nicest one. tongue sticking out smiley

Re: naming conventions
February 10, 2008 11:16PM
Use a period?? Never. Underscore? Always.

- Loren
Today's FCP keytip:
Instantly find Next/Previous timeline Gaps with Shift/Option -G !

Final Cut Studio 2 KeyGuide? Power Pack.
Now available at KeyGuide Central.
Re: naming conventions
February 11, 2008 12:40AM
But it's so crazy - here we have a system that can use (off the top of my head) up to 255 characters including spaces without trouble, but no-one does, just in case it needs to go to the dumbest of dumb PC where you can only have eight characters, a dot and another three specified characters.

Make those buggers upgrade, I say!

Re: naming conventions
February 11, 2008 01:09AM
You will very much most likely run into problems if your chosen filename has a space in it if you ever have to interact with that filename in a pure (traditional) Unix environment where a space in a filename is a definite no-no. Any native Unix command that accepts filenames as parameters will interpret the space as another filename and not part of the intended filename.

Worked as a system admin for several years in assorted Unix environments (early PWB, BSD, System 3-5-7, Interactive, HP-UX, SCO). Just go into terminal mode and run assorted commands such at ls, cp, etc. with a pipe "|" to another command to see how quickly things go awry...

I guess the message is that I would not recommend using spaces in pun

I just wish I knew as much about FCP as I do about Unix et. Al. LOL...

For a quick jaw dropping overview of the number of Unix varietals got to []
Re: naming conventions
February 11, 2008 01:13AM
For a quick jaw dropping overview of the number of Unix varietals got to

Holy Crap. That looks like bad sheet music written by a drunk Beethoven.

No spaces for me.

Michael Horton
Re: naming conventions
February 11, 2008 03:21AM
Hey Jimt, what do you think about Ubuntu? I have a friend who just bought a very cute little touchscreen computer that seems to use some very small variant of unix with lots of open source gear on it and I'm figuring it must be Ubuntu, since that is so light on the requirements.

Is it a good OS?

Re: naming conventions
February 11, 2008 05:37AM
As Jimt mentioned it's not MacOs we are working on any more, it's the Mac variant of Unix - which is still called MacOs.
Sure you can type names the way you want and mostly it will work, but never name a file ".filename" as it disappear as soon you hit enter. This sometimes happens if accidently delete the file name in a save dialog.
Also the the dot is used for the ".xxx" or ".xxxx" extension this was never needed in the old days of MacOs since everthing was handled by a type and creator database which was accomplished by an extension data base - in those days of Unix things have changed.

Regarding the spaces and MacOs maybe some of you can remember that FCP behaved (and sometimes still does) like a brave basic Unix app: if you named your hard drives like "fw 01", "fw 02", ? and did have all of them mounted FCP didn't find find them unless you replaced the space by underscore.

Another character I forgot to mention is "'" (single quote) as this is used in Unix to handle file names (the spaces as well) with quite a lot of app's (also those app which are working with XML like FCP, Motion, Color etc use it for path info). As an example "peter's drive" will be quoted internally by many apps (even on the Mac) so it will be "'peter's drive'" but this path is not valid any more because of the triple single quote, though many app may use the "escape" way of it: "peter\'s\ drive". Latter will leed to some other characters not to use: "\" (back slash), followed by "/" as this is used to structure file folder pathes, uups is this not done with the overlaying OS by ":" so it seems there is another character we should not use for other reasons.

But as said in many if not most times you can type the names the way you want and everything works fine. But sometimes (and mostly when you don't need it) things go wrong.
So at least keep in mind those restrictions - it will help to understand trouble when it comes along.
BTW: Another good example where you have to follow naming conventions is CT (unfortunately FCP doesn't follow it ;-))

Have fun
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login



Web Hosting by HermosawaveHermosawave Internet

Recycle computers and electronics