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Windows 7: Naming Convention under Windows Explorer

07 May 2011   #1

Windows 7 Startup 32bit
 
 
Naming Convention under Windows Explorer

Is there some way around the ridiculous naming of folders in Windows Explorer? Example: Libraries->Music->MyMusic BUT Music "is" MyMusic BUT neither can I figure out how to eliminate. Others in the same formatting. Documents=My Documents, huh?


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07 May 2011   #2

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by LargeAllen View Post
Is there some way around the ridiculous naming of folders in Windows Explorer? Example: Libraries->Music->MyMusic BUT Music "is" MyMusic BUT neither can I figure out how to eliminate. Others in the same formatting. Documents=My Documents, huh?
Libraries are a feature that a lot of us hate. They dont have to be used. check the tutorial section here for how not to have to use that ridiculous naming convention.
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08 May 2011   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate RTM (Technet)
 
 

Actually this has absolutely nothing to do with Libraries. If you click your user name in the left hand navigation panel, you'll see "My Documents," "My Pictures," etc., but the actual path is c:\users\username\documents, c:\users\username\pictures, etc.

FYI...all you have to do is rename "My Documents" to whatever you want.
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08 May 2011   #4

Windows 7 Startup 32bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MacGyvr View Post
Actually this has absolutely nothing to do with Libraries. If you click your user name in the left hand navigation panel, you'll see "My Documents," "My Pictures," etc., but the actual path is c:\users\username\documents, c:\users\username\pictures, etc.

FYI...all you have to do is rename "My Documents" to whatever you want.
Can't rename My Documents. Windows doesn't allow that. But I did try one thing. I tried to copy the files in My Documents and put them in Documents, so I could rename or delete the folder My Documents. Guess what Windows Explorer stated I was moving files (from My Documents) into My Documents.... then of course it said I couldn't do that. Yes, maybe in the Starter Edition of Windows 7 only, Documents=myDocuments. Music = My Music Pictures = My Pictures, but I can't seem to change anything. Just another one of those MS deals where "they" know best so that's the way it shall be.
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09 May 2011   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

That is because MyDocuments isn't a real folder. It is a junction point which is like a super shortcut built in to the NTFS filesystem. This "shortcut" points to your documents folder. This is done for backwards compatibility with older Windows systems so that older programs with hard coded references to documents still work.

Oh! You can rename it but not to documents as this would cause duplicate filename problems.
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09 May 2011   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate (x64)
 
 

An easy way out of the "ridiculous naming convention" is to place your own files to a folder that you have created yourself rather than into C:\Users\YourUserName. This way you can use whatever naming convention and folder structure you want. You can still use Libraries if you want too - just create your own libraries and populate them with your own folders.

Just to elaborate a little bit: any OS will try to provide you with a standard place to put user files. This makes more sense for a multi-user environment where administrators need to automate account management, but these days both Windows and Linux are widely used both in multi- and single-user scenarios. Therefore, even if your machine has only one user in it (you) the OS will initially create the standard location for your files.

Now, in Windows backwards compatibility is an important feature. In older versions of Windows user files were supposed to be placed in "My Documents". This was around for so long, that many programmers hard-coded that location into their apps, i.e. they use explicit paths rather than the environmental variables pointing there. Therefore in Windows 7 where the explicit path changed (no more "My" in the documents folder), they had to create a junction named "My Documents" in order to keep those badly coded programs working.

If you are the only user of your PC, then there is no reason to use this default structure rather than the fact that it is already there for you. Personally I never use it. My main reason for this is that lots of programs create their temporary folders there and fill the "My Documents" folder with lots of junk that has actually nothing to do with my documents. The snapshot below illustrates this. Again - I have never put anything into this folder myself. Therefore I just let it be. The programs fill this folder with whatever they need, and my own files, including the files that I work on with those same programs, are nicely located on another hard drive.


Attached Thumbnails
Naming Convention under Windows Explorer-capture.png  
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10 May 2011   #7

Windows 7 64 bit SP1
 
 

Maybe if you understand the reasoning for the naming, you might find it less ridiculous.

"My Documents" is there to differentiate it from other "Documents" folders. Libraries allows you to group multiple folders into a single "view". For instance, suppose you had 2 external hard disks that contain music files. You can map both of them to a single "Music" library and treat them as one.

The system has two "Documents" folders by default, "Public Documents" and "My Documents". By default, the system maps them both to the same library. "My Documents" is actually mapped to C:\Users\Username\Documents, and "Public Documents" is mapped to C:\Users\Public\Documents. "My Documents" differentiates between Public and Your documents. If there are other users on the system, then you will see "Joe's Documents" or "Sue's Documents", but they won't by default be mapped to your Documents Library. You could add them though.

The whole point is to make it easier for you, the user, to identify the real place your documents are.
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13 May 2011   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate (x64)
 
 

Mystere, why do you think I need anyone to tell me where my documents are? Do you really think I don't know where I put my stuff?

What I find ridiculous, is not the fact that the OS provides a default place for user files, that's OK, that's what any OS should do. What I find ridiculous, is that it's relatively hard to move this location around and then even if you manage to move it, then lots of programs will still write stuff to "My Documents" in its original location simply because the programmers use the explicit path in their code!

In addition, I do find the name "My Documents" for the default location of user files rather strange. Clearly, not every file I place on my computer is actually a document. From Wikipedia :

"A document is a work of non-fiction writing intended to store and communicate information, thus acting as a recording. Documents are often the focus and concern of business administration and government administration."
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13 May 2011   #9

Windows 8.1 Pro (x64)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by unifex View Post
What I find ridiculous, is that it's relatively hard to move this location around
I suppose I'm missing something important, but going into the folders properties then "Location" tab is really hard?

Quote:
then lots of programs will still write stuff to "My Documents" in its original location simply because the programmers use the explicit path in their code!
Which is Windows' fault in some way?


Anyways...the "My Documents" name you see is actually done via the desktop.ini file within. It is providing a localized name for Explorer to display along with an icon. Allmost all the directories in the user's folder have a desktop.ini file with a localized name provided. You can edit the desktop.ini files to remove the localized name.
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13 May 2011   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate (x64)
 
 

I take it that anything requiring a tutorial is not easy. To what degree is it hard is of course subjective.

I did not say that the poor programming is specifically Windows' fault. I did not point fingers at anyone. I merely explained, why I came to the decision not to use the default user folder in Windows at all. It's a personal choice, where to put your files on your own hard drive and not a very important choice at that. However, it seemed relevant to the OP's question to share mine.
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