An element of data storage in a file system.The history of computing is rich in varied kinds of files and file systems, whether ornate like the Macintosh file system or deficient like many simple pre-1980s file systems that didn't have directories. However, a typical file has these characteristics: * It is a single sequence of bytes (but consider Macintosh resource forks). * It has a finite length, unlike, e.g., a Unix device. * It is stored in a non-volatile storage medium (but see ramdrive). * It exists (nominally) in a directory. * It has a name that it can be referred to by in file operations, possibly in combination with its path. Additionally, a file system may support other file attributes, such as permissions; timestamps for creation, last modification, and last access and revision numbers (a` la VMS). Compare: document.
Last updated: 2007-01-04