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File extensions on the TI-99/4a

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I’d like to find out what the allowed characters are in filenames on the TI-99/4a, and also which ones are the most commonly use.

In particular I’m thinking mostly of DV80 files like source code in assembly language, C code, etc.


I’ve seen following:

  • FILE<0..9, A..Z>
  • FILE<0..9, A..Z>;<extension>



  • FILE1   FILE2  FILE3  FILE4   ....
  • FILE1;S  FILE2;S  FILE3;S  FILE4;S  ...



Reason I’m asking is because of my Stevie editor I’m working on. I have a routine that allows you to increase/decrease file names with a single keypress, e.g. FILE1;C to FILE2;C
That way you can quickly browse through files.

What are the most common extensions? Are they supported on all storage devices (TIPI, HDR, nanopeb, ...) ?

Edited by retroclouds

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All characters are allowed except a '.' (dot) and spaces in a TI directory or file name. The '.' character is the device - directory - file name separator.


In the beginning ( before 1990 ) I used NAME;SRC NAME;OBJ NAME;LST (sometimes also NAME;TIB and NAME;EXB) but AFAIK there is not really a convention about file extensions.

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I used semicolons and commas in early times, but I later switched to underscore, probably because of the Geneve tools.

MYFILE_S (assembly source code)

MYFILE_C (C source code)

MYFILE_O (tagged object code, also _X)


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Thanks for the replies. So it seems the delimiter character that prefixes a file suffix could be anything (except a “.” dot)


For me, the most naturals ones seems to be:

  • ;
  • _
  • /

Actually I like the semicolon as a delimiter (at least for C files and assembly files). 

Also like to keep file extension short. Why waste multiple chars if a single char does nicely, leaves more room for the filename 😀



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I always disliked the semicolon, I used forward slash. ;) But since that doesn't work on the PC file system, when I started Classic99 I switched to underscore.


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I typically forgo the slash, underscore, etc. given the 10 character limit, and pretty much use a single letter to denote the file type.  For example


FILES - source files (could be FILE1S FILE2S for multiple in a segment)

FILEO  - object file

FILEL -  link file (for make)

FILE - the program image output


There are file 'extensions' such as for TI Artist (_P, _C, _M, _I) and GR graphics (/GR , iirc) etc that are fairly well defined and helpful when browsing.  When Ernie and Marc and I were working on the SID software we chose the dollar sign to filter files. I know there are other types I am forgetting.


On the TI,  I periodically 'revert' to using /S and /O, mostly because Funnelweb defaults to it and that's the environment I prefer on the TI system.  That said, the Geneve reserves the slash for parameters which makes command line parsing a miserable affair, so if I think I'll use the files in both systems I stick with my earlier file typing.




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TIPI uses the rule, that '.' in a file name is presented as '/' to the TI. And TI '/' and '\' characters in names become '.' on the hosted linux filesystem.

The other characters mentioned should function without transformations. 

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For what it's worth, I use these conventions with my files.

FILE;C    C99 source file.
FILE;H    C99 Header or include file.
FILE;S    Assembly source file.
FILE;I    Included assembly file, using the Ed/Assem COPY directive.
FILE;L    Assembly listing file.
FILE;M    Makefile, loaded with Tom Bentley's CLOAD or my KLOAD programs.
FILE;O    Tagged object file, to be used with CLOAD or KLOAD.
FILE      Text or executable file.

The ten-character limit requires that my file names have max eight characters, which works nicely when I transfer files with Procomm to my Win98 system.


Now, trying to fit meaningful labels into six characters in my assembly programs sometimes gets weird...





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the TI-990 is using "/" as Seperator for the File Extension in its CATALOG programs.

With the option of not having a File Extension as well.





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