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Michael Tsai – Blog – Why does Windows Backslash use the path separator?



Michal Necasek (via Hacker News):

Microsoft wanted to use forward-looking style separator, but IBM nixed the idea because it would have created an incompatibility with DOS 1.x, which already used forward as a breaker character, separating command options.

[…]

Changing slash semantics had a clear potential for destroying data, especially when running batch files written for DOS 1.1. Something like "COPY FOO + BAR / A" has quite different semantics when / A is a switch vs when / A is a file or directory in the disk root directory.

[…]

It has Microsoft's own word that the progress did not come from CP / M, not from IBM, but from December, and there is a clear mention of TOPS-1

0.

History IBM Microsoft Microsoft DOS Programming Windows

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