Another reason things have got messy is the Windows default setting thatWolf K said:I don' think that's a clear explanation. AIUI, an Object is aPerhaps when [MS] introduced "folders" people took them as just another name
for "directories", but the definition of a folder is an object that contains
other object, and it is not necessarily a directory. Some folders are
directories, and behave like directories, but others are not.
programming element that accepts some input(s) and provides some
output(s). From the user's POV, a well tested Object is a chunk of code
that functions like a black box. I can see programming a directory as
an Object, but I don't know whether that's how folders are actually
implemented in Explorer.
In any case, how Explorer implements folders is irrelevant, since
functionally, folders in Explorer are directories: they are lists of
files, including files which are themselves lists of files, aka
subdirectories or sub-folders. And so on, nesting as many levels as
you like to some limit built into the OS.
The fact that "folder" is used for other kinds of objects is IMO A Very
Bad Idea, and not only MS is guilty of this, viz. the "folders" in
Thunderbird. Only if the folder has subfolders is it an actual folder
(directory). The lowest level in any TB folder tree is a dual file, one
containing the messages, and the other an index to those messages.
I suspect that "folder" was originally used because a) it's shorter and
easier to say than "directory"; and b) it reminded the users of file
folders, the actual physical objects they were used to. The metaphor
worked, IOW. But since then, things have gotten messy. Bah!
hides the extensions of known file types in Explorer. Because of this,
a folder can contain more than one item with (apparently) the same name.
This breaks a Golden Rule of directories.