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Don't use mixed case file names. Never.

If you use capital letters, you *will* get 404 errors in your log files

     
5:39 am on Jun 14, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Some things might seem obvious but sometimes they are probably just too obvious to take into consideration: Do not use mixed case file names. Never.

If you have to use Windows, make sure you turn all options that hide important things like real file name and extention off.

Example bad file name: Opera6L.html

That's what people will enter/try when 'transfering' the file name from their e-mail or news client or print to their browser:

Opera6l.html
opera6l.html
Opera6L.htm
opera6L.html

Now, if 'L' stands for say 'Linux', they will/might also try all of the above and more with 'W', 'w', 'M', 'm' (Windows, Mac, ...). It's a mess.

Your visitors will either end up on 404 pages or you will end up creating redirect pages (maybe someone can add a link on how to best do this).

What I am trying to say is: Keep It Simple, Stupid. Use lower case file names

Some other problems besides people getting it wrong, is software getting it wrong. I noticed this when posting the 'correct' Opera6L.html link to an forum: it ended up as 'opera6.html'. Moreover even some log analyzers will get it wrong. So if people are 'reverse surfing' their log files, they will not find your pages.

And all these problems because of one poorly choosen file name.

So the next time you pick a file name, think about how error prone they might be. Good luck.

5:51 am on June 14, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Excellent point. Sometimes the obvious isn't apparent.
6:32 am on June 14, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Very true for Unix hosting. But Windows is still forgiving here.
8:17 am on June 14, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Very true for Unix hosting. But Windows is still forgiving here.

That would just add one more obstacle to later changing your servers. Always try to be as flexible as you can. What if your hosting service decides to switch servers? People limit themselves to proprietary systems. Later, when they want to change (be it their local system or their hosting service) they can't cause they weren't paying attention to their file names and/or HREFs. This is probably even worse than using proprietary Browser tags, cause other people might use mixed case links to your site. Now, if you want to switch from IIS to Apache, you would have to convert the filenames, the HREFs and ask other people to adjust their links. And all this for no reason other than not not paying attention to something simple as a file name.
8:41 am on June 14, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Luma,
I agree totally. I wish windows was not so forgiving. Poor standards enforcement causes erosion for all other platforms that strictly conform. If Microsoft bothered to read the RFC on this they would see they are doing it against the standard. Being too forgiving is the key to Microsoft’s success, Look at how forgiving IE is. You don't even need to close <table> tags and it still renders. Auto-error recovery makes all other products that compete with you look inferior and cause people problems when they try to migrate away from you.

Personally, I only use lowercase and Unix. And I preach to my employees, ALL LOWERCASE or else!

9:13 am on June 14, 2002 (gmt 0)

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All the pages from my domain are like Widgets.htm so there address is www.mydomain.com/Widgets.htm..I dont get any errors on any page but will I be in trouble in the future?
4:49 pm on June 14, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Here's a related thread from just 3 months ago:

[webmasterworld.com...]

So the answer is yes, you still can have problems with mixed case, even right now.

5:11 pm on June 14, 2002 (gmt 0)

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It is not an issue with NT. If you have windows servers case doesn't matter. It will help if you plan on using unix based hosting.
 

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