This is a set of conventions you define for naming data files and the folders you keep them in and for saving multiple versions of files.
Using naming/versioning conventions . . .
- prevents accidental overwrites or deletion
- makes it easier to locate specific data files
- preserves differences in the information content or functionality of different file versions
- prevents confusion if multiple people are working on shared files
|File and folder names||
- Define a naming convention and use it consistently, especially if multiple people are sharing files.
- Avoid " / \ : * ? " < > [ ] & $ in names. These characters have specific meanings in your computer's operating system that could result in misreading or deleting these files.
- Use underscores (_) or type in CamelCase to separate terms, not spaces.
- Keep names short, 15-20 characters or less.
- Use names that describe the general category of files the folder contains.
- Keep names short, no more than 25 characters.
- Use names that describe the contents of the file, selecting 3-4 key pieces of information.
- Include a date using the format recommended by ISO 8601: YYYY-MM-DD. This is important because the date stored with a file on your computer will be changed if the file is moved to another computer. As an international standard, it is easily recognized and interpreted widely.
- Don't include the folder name in the file name, unless you are sharing files and there might be confusion about which folder a file should be added to.
An example file name is Mendota_Buoy6_20110711_v2
- Mendota_Buoy6 refers to the lake and the buoy from which the data was collected.
- 20110711 represents the date that the data was collected, and is written in ISO 8601.
- v2 indicates that there was a previous version, and that there will be future versions, of this dataset.
- Include a version number at the end of the file name such as v01. Change this version number each time the file is saved.
- For the final version, substitute the word FINAL for the version number. This is especially important if files are being shared.
- Turn on versioning or tracking in collaborative works or storage spaces such as Wikis, GoogleDocs, or MyWebSpace.
- Use a versioning software such as Apache Subversion to automatically track versions of computer code.