folder : Java Glossary

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folder
aka directory. A group of related files with a name. Directories are organised in trees with subdirectories more finely categorise files. Mac people usually use the term folder and DOS (Disk Operating System) people called them directories. The Windows people have use both terms, with folder being more popular with end users and directories with programmers.

The term folder is gradually replacing the term directory, because Apple has more cachet than Microsoft and because folder is two vs three syllables.

Windows 7 people use the term directory for physical groups of files on disk and library for file groupings that are created with symbolic links.

The JPSoft people use the term directory for physical groups of files on disk and folder to refer to either directories or file groupings that are created with symbolic links.

NTFS (New Technology File System) has junctions — links to files that don’t appear to have much use other irritating end users who try to use them like real directories.

In the Linux world, there are both hard links which point directly to a directory/file in the same file system, and symbolic links which contain the symbolic name of another directory/file, which may exist on this or some other file system.


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