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by Jason Tyro - GUI Computing
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This brief article concerns itself with 16 Bit Visual Basic Code, Yes, yes, yes, I know it's the late 1990's, we are in the era of Win98,VB6, NT5 (nearly), Zip drives, Java and other modern stuff. But some of us still have to work in 16 Bit, even if only on maintenance. Even worse, we probably have to do so from 32 Bit environment, and that can cause complications…

While working on project updates passed down through the generations of GUI personnel, I came across a phenomena that I hadn't seen before. I questioned the Great Jim Karabatsos, and he hadn't seen it either, and seeing that JK is Mr.VB (and no that does not stand for Very Boring ) then I guess a few other people haven't either.

Take an 9 character directory name - '123456789' is as good as any. A 16 bit VB project will not be able to find such a directory if given the same string. We all know that ! However this only relates to Win95. Under Windows NT4, the same project will find said directory no problem at all….mmmm!

OK, "What about filenames?" I hear you cry. A filename such as 123456789.TXT will only work on a 16 Bit VB project if given 123456~1.TXT. We all know that! And what behavior does NT4 display? Well it's consistent with Win95!

So given a file 123456789.TXT in a directory C:\123456789...

Win95 would use C:\123456~1\123456~1.TXT (We all know that!)
NT4 would use C:\123456789\123456~1.TXT (I didn't know that!)

I came across this during a conversation with a client who was running Win95 whereas I am on NT4. We were concurrently running an application that I had recently modified and shipped and I couldn't understand why mine was running fine and theirs wasn't.

Well, there you go, maybe next time I'll just insist on 8 character directory and filenames for all subsequent projects, just to be consistent. Then again…

Written by: Jason Tyro
August '98

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