Home » Questions » Computers [ Ask a new question ]

Why not ~/dls instead of ~/Downloads?

Why not ~/dls instead of ~/Downloads?

Most folder names in the *nix world are lower case. It makes them easier to type in my opinion. However, everything in my home-dir is capitalized! Why is this? Is it possible to change them?

Asked by: Guest | Views: 62
Total answers/comments: 5
Guest [Entry]

"Which of the following looks more like a *nix directory structure to you?

I suspect the mainstream distros these days are more concerned with the question ""which of the following is the slightest bit user-friendly?"" Linux distributions like Fedora and Ubuntu are attempting to attract mainstream, non-programmer users, and things like this are a good step in that direction.

bin, lib, tmp, usr, etc. are generally not exposed to average (i.e. ""my mother"") users, so leaving them abbreviated doesn't harm usability. The home directory, though, is something that every user is going to encounter, so it makes sense to have it easily human-readable."
Guest [Entry]

You can use xdg-user-dirs to tell applications to use your shortened names. There are some apps that forget to check if the locations are non-standard, but since it's an i18n issue you should get a good response if you file bugs.
Guest [Entry]

This may have become widespread first on Mac OS X, which mixed the "cryptic" Unixy stuff with the more "user-friendly" names; not only in each user's directory, but at the root: /System, /Applications, etc. I find it to be a useful distinction.
Guest [Entry]

I'd rather suspect that the big name distros are more concered with the question "which of the following is the most Windows/Mac like".
Guest [Entry]

"Programmers/system administrators on UNIX systems use command line tools a lot, so it's not surprising that most of the directories used by them have been abbreviated for their convenience, as they'd be typing them a lot. More so if you consider that in the beginning of UNIX, physical teletypes were in use.

In a GUI, you don't have to type anything most of the time, so having longer, clearer, friendlier names is more viable.

Of course, by using tab completion or symlinks, everyone can be happy, but I can't blame GUI designers for assuming or envisioning that normal users will do less typing of names, and not care about their length, as opposed to administrators/programmers.

Most of the directories you mention, like Downloads, etc. AFAIK are actually put there and recognized by your desktop environment. Without a desktop environment, Linux doesn't really put very much in your home directory. I'm sure they are configurable, you may want to read the documentation for whatever desktop environment/file manager you are using."