Baker, John JBaker at STRADLEY.COM
Wed Aug 1 15:22:54 UTC 2001

        Hmm, I was under the impression that Jesse asked for the use of
"dot" in computing, not just in filenames.  I guess that narrows the time
period down to the introduction of higher-level languages in the 1950s and
1960s (I don't know if the first higher-level languages used dots in
filenames or not), but no later than the introduction of Unix in 1969.

        Interestingly, the Unix Programmer's Manual, first edition (Nov. 3,
1971) uses "period" rather than "dot."  See the section on Commands, part 2,
available from

        A May 1975 edition of the C Reference Manual has made the transition
to "dot."  It's accessible from

John Baker

> -----Original Message-----
> From: James A. Landau [SMTP:JJJRLandau at AOL.COM]
> Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2001 7:59 AM
> Subject:      Re: Dot
> In a message dated 07/31/2001 12:40:28 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
> JBaker at STRADLEY.COM writes:
> >         How's this:  >>The "and" operator is often represented by a
> centered
> >  dot (.),<<
> >
> >          From Glossary of Computer Engineering and Programming
> Terminology
> >  (Partial list from BRL Report 1115, March 1961), online at
> >
> >
> This is the "logical AND" operator from Boolean algebra, not the period
> used
> to separate parts of a filename (or URL, which is a type of filename), and
> therefore not relevant to the current thread.
> >          Actually, I feel sure that "dot" has been used in computer
> contexts
> >  as long as there have been dots to refer to.  The trisyllabic "period"
> is
> >  just too long and awkward.
> I had to work with OS/360 filenames using periods starting in 1969.
> Unfortunately memory fails to serve when trying to recall what we called
> those periods.  I can't recall if "dot" was used.  I seem to recall that
> some
> people used "point" but I cannot remember if that were the dominant usage.
>                               - Jim

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