This document uses the following terms:
American National Standards Institute (ANSI) character set: A character set defined by a code page approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The term "ANSI" as used to signify Windows code pages is a historical reference and a misnomer that persists in the Windows community. The source of this misnomer stems from the fact that the Windows code page 1252 was originally based on an ANSI draft, which became International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Standard 8859-1 [ISO/IEC-8859-1]. In Windows, the ANSI character set can be any of the following code pages: 1252, 1250, 1251, 1253, 1254, 1255, 1256, 1257, 1258, 874, 932, 936, 949, or 950. For example, "ANSI application" is usually a reference to a non-Unicode or code-page-based application. Therefore, "ANSI character set" is often misused to refer to one of the character sets defined by a Windows code page that can be used as an active system code page; for example, character sets defined by code page 1252 or character sets defined by code page 950. Windows is now based on Unicode, so the use of ANSI character sets is strongly discouraged unless they are used to interoperate with legacy applications or legacy data.
Augmented Backus-Naur Form (ABNF): A modified version of Backus-Naur Form (BNF), commonly used by Internet specifications. ABNF notation balances compactness and simplicity with reasonable representational power. ABNF differs from standard BNF in its definitions and uses of naming rules, repetition, alternatives, order-independence, and value ranges. For more information, see [RFC5234].
class identifier (CLSID): A GUID that identifies a software component; for instance, a DCOM object class or a COM class.
code page: An ordered set of characters of a specific script in which a numerical index (code-point value) is associated with each character. Code pages are a means of providing support for character sets and keyboard layouts used in different countries. Devices such as the display and keyboard can be configured to use a specific code page and to switch from one code page (such as the United States) to another (such as Portugal) at the user's request.
extra data section: A data structure appended to the basic Shell Link Binary File Format data that contains additional information about the link target.
globally unique identifier (GUID): A term used interchangeably with universally unique identifier (UUID) in Microsoft protocol technical documents (TDs). Interchanging the usage of these terms does not imply or require a specific algorithm or mechanism to generate the value. Specifically, the use of this term does not imply or require that the algorithms described in [RFC4122] or [C706] must be used for generating the GUID. See also universally unique identifier (UUID).
item ID (ItemID): A structure that represents an item in the context of a shell data source.
item ID list (IDList): A data structure that refers to a location. An item ID list is a multi-segment data structure where each segment's content is defined by a data source that is responsible for the location in the namespace referred to by the preceding segments.
link: An object that refers to another item.
namespace: An abstract container that provides context for the items (names, technical terms, or words) that it holds and allows disambiguation of items that have the same name (residing in different namespaces).
object: In COM, a software entity that implements the IUnknown interface and zero or more additional interfaces that may be obtained from each other using the IUnknown interface. A COM object can be exposed to remote clients via the DCOM protocol, in which case it is also a DCOM object.
Object Linking and Embedding (OLE): A technology for transferring and sharing information between applications by inserting a file or part of a file into a compound document. The inserted file can be either embedded or linked. See also embedded object and linked object.
relative path: A path that is implied by the active working directory or is calculated based on a specified directory. If users enter a command that refers to a file and the full path is not entered, the active working directory is the relative path of the referenced file.
reparse point: An attribute that can be added to a file to store a collection of user-defined data that is opaque to NTFS or ReFS. If a file that has a reparse point is opened, the open will normally fail with STATUS_REPARSE, so that the relevant file system filter driver can detect the open of a file associated with (owned by) this reparse point. At that point, each installed filter driver can check to see if it is the owner of the reparse point, and, if so, perform any special processing required for a file with that reparse point. The format of this data is understood by the application that stores the data and the file system filter that interprets the data and processes the file. For example, an encryption filter that is marked as the owner of a file's reparse point could look up the encryption key for that file. A file can have (at most) 1 reparse point associated with it. For more information, see [MS-FSCC].
resolve a link: The act of finding a specific link target, confirming that it exists, and finding whether it has moved.
shortcut: A term that is used synonymously with shell link.
sparse file: A file containing large sections of data composed only of zeros. This file is marked as a sparse file in the file system, which saves disk space by only allocating as many ranges on disk as are required to completely reconstruct the non-zero data. When an attempt is made to read in the nonallocated portions of the file (also known as holes), the file system automatically returns zeros to the caller.
Unicode: A character encoding standard developed by the Unicode Consortium that represents almost all of the written languages of the world. The Unicode standard [UNICODE5.0.0/2007] provides three forms (UTF-8, UTF-16, and UTF-32) and seven schemes (UTF-8, UTF-16, UTF-16 BE, UTF-16 LE, UTF-32, UTF-32 LE, and UTF-32 BE).
Universal Naming Convention (UNC): A string format that specifies the location of a resource. For more information, see [MS-DTYP] section 2.2.57.
UTC (Coordinated Universal Time): A high-precision atomic time standard that approximately tracks Universal Time (UT). It is the basis for legal, civil time all over the Earth. Time zones around the world are expressed as positive and negative offsets from UTC. In this role, it is also referred to as Zulu time (Z) and Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). In these specifications, all references to UTC refer to the time at UTC–0 (or GMT).
MAY, SHOULD, MUST, SHOULD NOT, MUST NOT: These terms (in all caps) are used as defined in [RFC2119]. All statements of optional behavior use either MAY, SHOULD, or SHOULD NOT.