SD terminology: folders vs directories

Just saw the quote below here in the SD reference, my emphasis:

openNextFile()
Reports the next file or folder in a directory.

In my mind, going back decades, folders and directories are the same thing. I've always considered that we have layers of directories, so directories in directories. Remember the directory navigation in dos and unix for example, cd.. and so on, that tells us there are layers of directories. The word folders probably relates more to the visual depiction of a directory in the desktop gui paradigm. But to me folders and directories are exactly the same.

The above quote would indicate they're not the same.

Is there some subtle distinction I've missed all these years? Is there some subtle distinction in the SD world?

Probably not. Folders are for people who cannot spell directory. I believe it originally came from macintosh - I guess they thought one multi-syllable word was about all their users could handle..

neiklot:
The word folders probably relates more to the visual depiction of a directory in the desktop gui paradigm. But to me folders and directories are exactly the same.

Indeed

neiklot:
Is there some subtle distinction I've missed all these years? Is there some subtle distinction in the SD world?

Well... not really; you might even consider it as a misuse of the terms.

What it means is that you can obtain a file or a subdirectory inside the directory represented by the given File instance.
Remember that, in FAT filesystems, directories/folders are actually an special kind of file (flagged by the "subdirectory" attribute) since storing their data (content or "entries") also consume "clusters" (aka "usable" disk space) as any regular file. In FAT32, even the root directory behaves like this.

So that's why you might got confused: File instances can represent both regular files and directories/folders.

Lucario448:
So that's why you might got confused: File instances can represent both regular files and directories/folders.

Right, thanks (again :wink: )

Nick_Pyner:
Folders are for people who cannot spell directory. I believe it originally came from macintosh - I guess they thought one multi-syllable word was about all their users could handle..

I used to think this too. When I got on my first computer in the early 90s the only term I ever saw was "directories", and I stuck with it. Then I had to use the term in some documentation and thought I'd better do some research. In a nutshell, what I learned is that all directories are folders but not all folders are directories. Although I prefer the more technical sounding and nostalgic term "directory" to the fluffy "folder", it's much easier to use "folder", which will always be correct, rather than spending time figuring out whether "directory" is correct for any given case.