727: Trade Expert

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Trade Expert
I mean, it's been almost twenty years. Now, it's possible you're simply embedding Windows directory paths in your URIs, but in that case you need more than just a short lecture.
Title text: I mean, it's been almost twenty years. Now, it's possible you're simply embedding Windows directory paths in your URIs, but in that case you need more than just a short lecture.

[edit] Explanation

The forward slash (/) is the correct way to separate distinct parts of a web address (for example, the web address 'http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slash_(punctuation)'). Similarly, the slash serves as a separator in file paths on UNIX-like operating systems. Often, the part of the web address after the first slash ('wiki/Slash_(punctuation)' in the previous example) will correspond to a file with the same path on a web server (the previous example could have the path '/var/www/en/wiki/Slash_(punctuation)'). Newscasters who say "backslash" could be doing so because they don't know the difference between a forward slash and backslash; they are also being somewhat overzealous by trying to specify forward- or backslash since just saying "slash" would be sufficient.

As referenced in the title text, the backslash serves as a separator in file paths on the Windows operating system. Thus a windows file path encoded in a URI (uniform resource identifier) would contain the backslash character. It is worth noting, however, that if a URI contains a Windows path, that URI would probably only be accessible from the machine that locally stores the file. Sharing such a URI on a news show would be useless, as nobody would be able to access the file.

[edit] Transcript

[Anchorman sitting at newsdesk.]
Anchor: (to camera) And for more on the summit, we turn to trade expert Dr. Steven Berlee. Steven?
[Dr. Steven Berlee is sitting to the right of Anchor at newsdesk.]
DSB: I'm not actually a doctor or a trade expert. I'm just a programmer who lies to get on news shows.
[Close-up on DSB.]
Anchor: (off camera) What? Why?
DSB: To share a message with newscasters.
[Pull back to shot of both men.]
Anchor: Which is?
DSB: Every time you say "backslash" as part of a web address on air, I die a little.
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Discussion

Most modern browsers will convert backslashes in a URL into forward-slashes on submit anyway. And typing a file path into Windows Explorer's address bar using forward-slashes will usually work as well. Not to say that I also despise people incorrectly referring to web addresses as much as the next programmer (probably more), mixing slashes doesn't really break anything. bungeshea (talk) 10:25, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that the explanation is incorrect, and should rather say something like: The forward slash (/) is the correct way to separate distinct parts of a web address (for example, the web address 'en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slash_(punctuation)'). However, Dr. Steven Berlee has apparently heard newscasters say 'backslash' instead of 'slash' or 'forward slash'. Therefore, this annoys him. As referenced in the title text, the backslash serves as a separator in file paths on the Windows operating system. Thus a Windows file path embedded in a URI would contain the backslash character. However, Dr. Steven Berlee thinks that if you embed a Windows file path in a lecture, then 'in that case you need more than just a short lecture' because this is not a good practice. 01:48, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

I can't believe nobody has pointed this out: Steven Berlee? Steven (Crocker|Wolff) and Tim Berners-Lee... Steven Berlee! Founders of the internet (ARPANET and whatnot). 141.101.81.216 13:36, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
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