No more 8-character limit?

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No more 8-character limit?

Benjamin R. Haskell-8
Andy Wokula just uploaded what seems like a useful plugin called
'motpat'.  Months from now, there's no way I'd remember 'motpat' comes
from "create MOTion mappings defined by a PATtern".

Can't we all agree that the 8-character limit is absurd at this point?  
Are there systems that still have trouble with >8?

To be clear, I'm not picking on his plugin's name in particular -- I've
just wondered for a while why this is still part of
:help write-plugin
which states that 8 characters is "to avoid problems on old Windows
systems".

--
Best,
Ben

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Re: No more 8-character limit?

Tony Mechelynck
On 28/03/10 18:28, Benjamin R. Haskell wrote:

> Andy Wokula just uploaded what seems like a useful plugin called
> 'motpat'.  Months from now, there's no way I'd remember 'motpat' comes
> from "create MOTion mappings defined by a PATtern".
>
> Can't we all agree that the 8-character limit is absurd at this point?
> Are there systems that still have trouble with>8?
>
> To be clear, I'm not picking on his plugin's name in particular -- I've
> just wondered for a while why this is still part of
> :help write-plugin
> which states that 8 characters is "to avoid problems on old Windows
> systems".
>

Not only old Windows systems (and, of course, MS-DOS) but also some Dos
emulators and/or some filesystems. See doc/vi_diff.txt lines 758 sqq,
and the help for 'shortname'.

Best regards,
Tony.
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Re: No more 8-character limit?

Benjamin R. Haskell-8
On Sun, 28 Mar 2010, Tony Mechelynck wrote:

> On 28/03/10 18:28, Benjamin R. Haskell wrote:
> > Andy Wokula just uploaded what seems like a useful plugin called
> > 'motpat'.  Months from now, there's no way I'd remember 'motpat'
> > comes from "create MOTion mappings defined by a PATtern".
> >
> > Can't we all agree that the 8-character limit is absurd at this
> > point?  Are there systems that still have trouble with>8?
> >
> > To be clear, I'm not picking on his plugin's name in particular --
> > I've just wondered for a while why this is still part of
> > :help write-plugin
> > which states that 8 characters is "to avoid problems on old Windows
> > systems".
> >
>
> Not only old Windows systems (and, of course, MS-DOS) but also some
> Dos emulators and/or some filesystems. See doc/vi_diff.txt lines 758
> sqq, and the help for 'shortname'.

I'm aware that there are tons of legacy/compatibility systems for which
this causes problems.  Are there any systems in common, current use for
which this causes problems?  (Why would people be using Vim in DOS
emulators?)

To reframe the suggestion: can't this be something that systems with
those limitations should be expected to deal with -- so that everyone
else gets the benefit of sensible names?

Even in the standard runtime files, 298 of 1117 '.vim' files have names
that don't fit into 8.3.

((
find ~/hg/vim/runtime -name '?????????*.vim' | wc -l
vs.
find ~/hg/vim/runtime -name '*.vim' | wc -l
))

It just seems silly to continue to follow this arbitrary restriction
based on historical systems that: 1. aren't still in common use, and 2.
already *have* to work around the issue anyway to use the standard set
of runtime files.

--
Best,
Ben

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Re: No more 8-character limit?

Tony Mechelynck
On 28/03/10 21:30, Benjamin R. Haskell wrote:

> On Sun, 28 Mar 2010, Tony Mechelynck wrote:
>
>> On 28/03/10 18:28, Benjamin R. Haskell wrote:
>>> Andy Wokula just uploaded what seems like a useful plugin called
>>> 'motpat'.  Months from now, there's no way I'd remember 'motpat'
>>> comes from "create MOTion mappings defined by a PATtern".
>>>
>>> Can't we all agree that the 8-character limit is absurd at this
>>> point?  Are there systems that still have trouble with>8?
>>>
>>> To be clear, I'm not picking on his plugin's name in particular --
>>> I've just wondered for a while why this is still part of
>>> :help write-plugin
>>> which states that 8 characters is "to avoid problems on old Windows
>>> systems".
>>>
>>
>> Not only old Windows systems (and, of course, MS-DOS) but also some
>> Dos emulators and/or some filesystems. See doc/vi_diff.txt lines 758
>> sqq, and the help for 'shortname'.
>
> I'm aware that there are tons of legacy/compatibility systems for which
> this causes problems.  Are there any systems in common, current use for
> which this causes problems?  (Why would people be using Vim in DOS
> emulators?)
>
> To reframe the suggestion: can't this be something that systems with
> those limitations should be expected to deal with -- so that everyone
> else gets the benefit of sensible names?
>
> Even in the standard runtime files, 298 of 1117 '.vim' files have names
> that don't fit into 8.3.
>
> ((
> find ~/hg/vim/runtime -name '?????????*.vim' | wc -l
> vs.
> find ~/hg/vim/runtime -name '*.vim' | wc -l
> ))
>
> It just seems silly to continue to follow this arbitrary restriction
> based on historical systems that: 1. aren't still in common use, and 2.
> already *have* to work around the issue anyway to use the standard set
> of runtime files.
>

Some of these (such as, let's say,
lang/menu_english_united_kingdom.ascii.vim -- no kidding) are only
needed on systems where the 8.3 limitation doesn't apply (in this case
en_GB localized Windows systems). I'm not sure about them all, though.
If you publish a plugin which cannot be used on 8.3 systems, then I
suppose you're free to use any name (though if you decide to use a
6000-character name I guess some people won't be happy ;-) ). In the
general case though, I guess the motto "Be liberal in what you accept,
conservative in what you send" still applies, for maximum portability.


Best regards,
Tony.
--
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Re: No more 8-character limit?

iler.ml
In reply to this post by Benjamin R. Haskell-8
On Mar 28, 6:28 pm, "Benjamin R. Haskell" <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Andy Wokula just uploaded what seems like a useful plugin called
> 'motpat'.  

I don't think short names of plugins come from 8.3, there is different
reason. See below.

> Months from now, there's no way I'd remember 'motpat' comes from

You don't need to remember the precise name. There is google.
If you remember enough keywords (motion, mappings, pattern), then
typing "vim" + "plugin" + keywords into google will take you to
motpat.vim faster than you'd expect.

Long name ? Using long name won't guaranee one remembers its
precisely.
Was is MotionMappingsByPattern.vim ?
Or CreateMotionMappingsByPattern.vim ?
Or MotionMapsPattern.vim ?
The longer name, the more possibilities.

I, personally, don't beleive I'm better at remembering
verbatim long names than at remembering short names.

If you want to see long mnemonic name in your ~/.vimrc directory,
you can create a symlink locally, using whatever you remember well.

I wrote plugins myself. I beleive short names have nothing to do with
8.3.
When debugging and writing and polishing the plugin, author types its
name
thousands of times. So there is tendency to shorten the name, just for
typing convenience.

Symlinks are your friends for local convenience, and google - for
search.


Yakov

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Re: No more 8-character limit?

Joan Miquel Torres Rigo
In reply to this post by Benjamin R. Haskell-8


2010/3/28 Benjamin R. Haskell <[hidden email]>
Are there any systems in common, current use for
which this causes problems?  (Why would people be using Vim in DOS emulators?)

Why would people be using Windows on servers?

But there is.

And there is some privative DOS applications with no support from its partners and those code is not available in any manner that are even useful for its users and the only way to run them is emulating windows or (better if enougth) DOS environment.

And then, if you have DOS environment, you would like to have vim inside. ;-)



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Re: No more 8-character limit?

Benjamin R. Haskell-8
In reply to this post by iler.ml
On Mon, 29 Mar 2010, Yakov wrote:

> On Mar 28, 6:28 pm, "Benjamin R. Haskell" <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > Andy Wokula just uploaded what seems like a useful plugin called
> > 'motpat'.  
>
> I don't think short names of plugins come from 8.3, there is different
> reason. See below.

The help text itself claimed it was for "compatibility with old Windows
versions".  Otherwise, there's no reason to pick 8.


> > Months from now, there's no way I'd remember 'motpat' comes from
>
> You don't need to remember the precise name. There is google.

That's ridiculous.  Figuring out what a plugin does shouldn't require a
search engine.  I'm talking about the name to functionality mapping, not
vice versa.  (I have 'motpat'. What does 'motpat' do?)


> If you remember enough keywords (motion, mappings, pattern), then
> typing "vim" + "plugin" + keywords into google will take you to
> motpat.vim faster than you'd expect.

If I knew those keywords, Google could just as easily lead me to
flibbyDibbyDoo.vim if the plugin's description were the same as
motpat.vim.  The name doesn't assist in the search; the name assists in
the reverse (Plugin called XYZ.vim has functionality associated with X,
Y, and Z).

Besides, the need for the plugin arose from (paraphrasing): "w doesn't
move over word characters in a natural way" (none of which points toward
'plugin', 'mappings', or 'pattern')


> Long name ? Using long name won't guaranee one remembers its
> precisely.
> Was is MotionMappingsByPattern.vim ?
> Or CreateMotionMappingsByPattern.vim ?
> Or MotionMapsPattern.vim ?
> The longer name, the more possibilities.

*ALL* of those are better than 'motpat'.  If I've installed it already,
I can clearly remember what the plugin does by its name.  If someone
tells me I should install MotionMappingsByPattern.vim, it's obvious that
it does something related to 'motion', 'mappings', and 'patterns'.

Even motionpattern.vim (what first came to mind) is much better.


> I, personally, don't beleive I'm better at remembering verbatim long
> names than at remembering short names.

It's not the length -- it's the lack of abbreviation.  And memorability
isn't the key goal anyway.


> If you want to see long mnemonic name in your ~/.vimrc directory, you
> can create a symlink locally, using whatever you remember well.
>
> I wrote plugins myself. I beleive short names have nothing to do with
> 8.3.  When debugging and writing and polishing the plugin, author
> types its name thousands of times. So there is tendency to shorten the
> name, just for typing convenience.

Turn on autocompletion (Vim and/or shell).  'MotionMappingsByPattern'
just took me four keystrokes to type: M o t <Tab>  (Six, counting the
surrounding single-quotes.)


> Symlinks are your friends for local convenience, and google - for
> search.

Names longer than 8 characters are everyone's friend for global
convenience.

--
Best,
Ben

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Re: No more 8-character limit?

Benjamin R. Haskell-8
In reply to this post by Tony Mechelynck
On Sun, 28 Mar 2010, Tony Mechelynck wrote:

> On 28/03/10 21:30, Benjamin R. Haskell wrote:
> >
> > [...]
> >
> > Even in the standard runtime files, 298 of 1117 '.vim' files have names
> > that don't fit into 8.3.
> >
> > ((
> > find ~/hg/vim/runtime -name '?????????*.vim' | wc -l
> > vs.
> > find ~/hg/vim/runtime -name '*.vim' | wc -l
> > ))
> >
> > It just seems silly to continue to follow this arbitrary restriction
> > based on historical systems that: 1. aren't still in common use, and
> > 2.  already *have* to work around the issue anyway to use the
> > standard set of runtime files.
> >
>
> Some of these (such as, let's say,
> lang/menu_english_united_kingdom.ascii.vim -- no kidding) are only
> needed on systems where the 8.3 limitation doesn't apply (in this case
> en_GB localized Windows systems). I'm not sure about them all, though.

There are 49 in the runtime/syntax/ directory (for example) that aren't
due to i18n reasons.


> If you publish a plugin which cannot be used on 8.3 systems, then I
> suppose you're free to use any name (though if you decide to use a
> 6000-character name I guess some people won't be happy ;-) ). In the
> general case though, I guess the motto "Be liberal in what you accept,
> conservative in what you send" still applies, for maximum portability.

That's the first counter-argument I've almost agreed with.  If it
weren't already the case that the standard runtime has the problem, I'd
agree with that rephrasing of Postel's principle.

As it is, though, systems that can't handle >8 already have to work
around the issue, so there's no reason to impose the arbitrary limit on
sensible systems.

Out of curiosity, is there something in the build scripts that works
around the issue?  Or is it handled at runtime?  Or do 8-character-limit
systems just miss out on some functionality?

--
Best,
Ben

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Re: No more 8-character limit?

Benjamin R. Haskell-8
In reply to this post by Joan Miquel Torres Rigo
On Mon, 29 Mar 2010, Joan Miquel Torres Rigo wrote:

> 2010/3/28 Benjamin R. Haskell:
>
> > Are there any systems in common, current use for which this causes
> > problems?  (Why would people be using Vim in DOS emulators?)
> >
>
> Why would people be using Windows on servers?
>
> But there is.

Corporations that want support, or who use Windows-only programs.

Windows isn't the point, anyway.  Post-3.1 Windows versions don't have
an 8-character limit.


> And there is some privative DOS applications with no support from its
> partners and those code is not available in any manner that are even
> useful for its users and the only way to run them is emulating windows
> or (better if enougth) DOS environment.
>
> And then, if you have DOS environment, you would like to have vim inside.
> ;-)

And I'm saying that's an uncommon enough case that it shouldn't matter
if you require someone using a system like that to rename some files.  
They have to rename some files already to get the core runtime files
working.

--
Best,
Ben

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Re: No more 8-character limit?

iler.ml
In reply to this post by Benjamin R. Haskell-8
On Mar 29, 3:51 pm, "Benjamin R. Haskell" <[hidden email]> wrote:
> (I have 'motpat'. What does 'motpat' do?)

Are you talking about *file* motpat.vim ?
If you are talking about the file, then doing
           head motpat.vim
will show you all information you need, including description,
author name, version, no ? That was true for all plugins I ever
downloaded.

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Re: No more 8-character limit?

Benjamin R. Haskell-8
On Mon, 29 Mar 2010, Yakov wrote:

> On Mar 29, 3:51 pm, "Benjamin R. Haskell" <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > (I have 'motpat'. What does 'motpat' do?)
>
> Are you talking about *file* motpat.vim ?
> If you are talking about the file, then doing
>            head motpat.vim
> will show you all information you need, including description, author
> name, version, no ? That was true for all plugins I ever downloaded.

Yes, but again missing the point: even 'head motpat.vim' would be less-
or un- necessary if the file were called motionpatterns.vim.

--
Ben

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Re: No more 8-character limit?

Tony Mechelynck
In reply to this post by Benjamin R. Haskell-8
On 29/03/10 15:51, Benjamin R. Haskell wrote:
[...]
> Out of curiosity, is there something in the build scripts that works
> around the issue?  Or is it handled at runtime?  Or do 8-character-limit
> systems just miss out on some functionality?
>

I think they miss out on some functionality; or else, maybe they use
some function of the dearchiving utility to convert Long File Names to
8.3 format. But I might be wrong.


Best regards,
Tony.
--
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PICTURES LTD

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Re: No more 8-character limit?

LuKreme
In reply to this post by Benjamin R. Haskell-8
On 29-Mar-2010, at 07:51, Benjamin R. Haskell wrote:

>
> On Mon, 29 Mar 2010, Joan Miquel Torres Rigo wrote:
>> 2010/3/28 Benjamin R. Haskell:
>>
>>> Are there any systems in common, current use for which this causes
>>> problems?  (Why would people be using Vim in DOS emulators?)
>>>
>>
>> Why would people be using Windows on servers?
>>
>> But there is.
>
> Corporations that want support, or who use Windows-only programs.
>
> Windows isn't the point, anyway.  Post-3.1 Windows versions don't have
> an 8-character limit.

Er... Windows 95, 98, and ME sorta still had that limit (file names were 8.3, but the system could expand them. However, if your calls were not accessing the windows APIs, you were still limited to 8.3 filenames.

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Re: No more 8-character limit?

Benjamin R. Haskell-8
On Mon, 29 Mar 2010, LuKreme wrote:

> On 29-Mar-2010, at 07:51, Benjamin R. Haskell wrote:
> >
> > Windows isn't the point, anyway.  Post-3.1 Windows versions don't
> > have an 8-character limit.
>
> Er... Windows 95, 98, and ME sorta still had that limit (file names
> were 8.3, but the system could expand them. However, if your calls
> were not accessing the windows APIs, you were still limited to 8.3
> filenames.

Ah, yes.  That seems vaguely familiar now.  Thanks for the correction.  
I guess I'd assumed that Vim for Windows would've been written to access
long filenames.  The download page lists at least a couple versions that
don't[1], even for NT/2K/XP.

--
Best,
Ben

[1] http://www.vim.org/download.php#pc

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Re: No more 8-character limit?

Tony Mechelynck
In reply to this post by LuKreme
On 29/03/10 16:44, LuKreme wrote:

> On 29-Mar-2010, at 07:51, Benjamin R. Haskell wrote:
>>
>> On Mon, 29 Mar 2010, Joan Miquel Torres Rigo wrote:
>>> 2010/3/28 Benjamin R. Haskell:
>>>
>>>> Are there any systems in common, current use for which this causes
>>>> problems?  (Why would people be using Vim in DOS emulators?)
>>>>
>>>
>>> Why would people be using Windows on servers?
>>>
>>> But there is.
>>
>> Corporations that want support, or who use Windows-only programs.
>>
>> Windows isn't the point, anyway.  Post-3.1 Windows versions don't have
>> an 8-character limit.
>
> Er... Windows 95, 98, and ME sorta still had that limit (file names were 8.3, but the system could expand them. However, if your calls were not accessing the windows APIs, you were still limited to 8.3 filenames.
>

Even on later Windows systems, 8.3 names still exist because they are
part of the FAT filesystem specification: the directory "line" (of 64
bytes IIRC) containing the date, access flags, starting cluster number,
etc., of each entry also has 8+3 bytes for the name; Long File Names
(when present) are stored in UCS-2le (or is it UTF-16le?) on one or more
additional lines in a manner which makes them look like some sort of
disk labels (and thus invisible) to systems ignorant of them. Each file
or directory has an 8.3 name and usually an LFN too; the LFN is used (if
present of course) for most display purposes, but the file (or
directory) can still be accessed by the 8.3 name if desired, and that is
one of the "tricks" which can be used in Vim to avoid problems when the
LFN contains troublesome characters such as spaces. For instance,

        :view c:/PROGRA~1/vim/vim72

will usually bring up your $VIMRUNTIME directory (in a netrw buffer) on
most Windows systems. (In this case, of course, :view $VIMR<Tab><CR>
would be more economical of keystrokes, but the example can be generalized.)


Best regards,
Tony.
--
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Re: No more 8-character limit?

iler.ml
On Mar 29, 5:46 pm, Tony Mechelynck <[hidden email]>
wrote:
> Even on later Windows systems, 8.3 names still exist because they are

Are we going to rename vim to something like
visualeditorcompatiblewithvi now ?

I think the argument confuses two different things,
(a) 8.3 limit of APIs or of filesystem, and
(b) tendency of [unix] people to abbreviate filenames and variables
*really short*.

Beleive it or not, some people will abbreviate really short, no matter
what's filename limit.

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Re: No more 8-character limit?

Antony Scriven-3
On 29 March 2010 19:30, Yakov wrote:

 > On Mar 29, 5:46 pm, Tony Mechelynck
 > <[hidden email]> wrote:
 >
 > > Even on later Windows systems, 8.3 names still exist
 > > because they are
 >
 > Are we going to rename vim to something like
 > visualeditorcompatiblewithvi now ?

Why? Not everything warrants a catchy name.

 > I think the argument confuses two different things,
 > (a) 8.3 limit of APIs or of filesystem, and
 > (b) tendency of [unix] people to abbreviate filenames and
 > variables *really short*.
 >
 > Beleive it or not, some people will abbreviate really
 > short, no matter what's filename limit.

You've never needed more than eight letters? --Antony

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Re: No more 8-character limit?

Tony Mechelynck
In reply to this post by iler.ml
On 29/03/10 20:30, Yakov wrote:

> On Mar 29, 5:46 pm, Tony Mechelynck<[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>> Even on later Windows systems, 8.3 names still exist because they are
>
> Are we going to rename vim to something like
> visualeditorcompatiblewithvi now ?
>
> I think the argument confuses two different things,
> (a) 8.3 limit of APIs or of filesystem, and
> (b) tendency of [unix] people to abbreviate filenames and variables
> *really short*.
>
> Beleive it or not, some people will abbreviate really short, no matter
> what's filename limit.
>

Hm, I think there's something in this argument. On Unix, long names have
been permitted since I don't know when, but what are the names used? ls
(not "directory_list": "list" would still be ambiguous), cat (not
"concat" and even less "concatenate"), mv (not "move" and even less
"rename"), cp (not "copy"), rm (not "remove" or "delete"), sed (not
"streamedit"), tar (not "tape_archiver" or even "archiver" for who uses
tapes nowadays, at least on Linux?), man (not "manual") and so on and so
forth. So Unix users have to commit to memory that, for instance, to
"rename" a file they must use the "mv" program. Now how can they
remember that? Yet they do.

On Dos/Windows, there are alias pairs: chdir = cd, mkdir = md, rmdir =
rd, del = erase, etc. So what do the overwhelming majority of the users
type in practice? Always the shorter member of the pair.

With Vim commands and options it is maybe less systematic; but after
some time, for the really much-used ones, the abbreviated name always
gets the upper hand: :e (not :edit), :w (not :write), :q (not :quit), :x
(not :exit), :au (not :autocmd), etc. For the options, which ones are
most used may vary somewhat from person to person, but when I'm typing
for myself I use gfn, enc, tenc, fenc, fencs, ff, ffs, imi, ..., even
though when I'm explaining I write about 'guifont', 'encoding',
'termencoding', 'fileencoding', 'fileencodings', 'fileformat',
'fileformats', 'iminsert', etc.


Best regards,
Tony.
--
"I had to censor everything my sons watched ... even on the Mary Tyler
Moore show I heard the word 'damn'!"
                -- Mary Lou Bax

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Re: No more 8-character limit?

iler.ml
In reply to this post by Antony Scriven-3
On Mar 29, 8:40 pm, Antony Scriven <[hidden email]> wrote:

> You've never needed more than eight letters? --Antony

For what ? -- Yakov

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