What happened to the ability to use … (three dots) to refer to the grandparent directory?

Raymond Chen

In Windows 95, you could type cd ... to go up two directories, or cd .... to go up three directories, and so on. (You could also use triple-dots in paths passed to functions like Create­File.) Where did this come from?

This interpretation of dots beyond two was introduced in Windows 95 for compatibility with the Novell NetWare redirector. Windows 95 came with a native Novell NetWare client, and one of the quirks of the Novell NetWare client is that it supported this dots beyond two feature. For compatibility, therefore, Windows 95 supported it as well. The parsing of the dots was done inside the Windows 95 installable file system component, so it was available to all file systems, not just NetWare volumes, but the intended audience for the feature was Novell NetWare clients.

Windows NT didn’t pick up this feature because, well, I don’t know. Maybe they thought it was a yucky hack. Actually, thinking more on it, it’s probably ... is a legal NT file name.


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