727: Trade Expert
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.
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.
- [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.