Do you 'zz' old files rather than deleting them?

Last updated by Ben Neoh [SSW] about 1 month ago.See history

When you are regularly creating new releases of a cool .NET application or simply producing new proposals in Microsoft Word, files will inevitably become outdated. Rather than deleting them, put a 'zz' at the front of the filename. These old versions should not be deleted straight away - it is just an unnecessary risk! The zz'd files can remain there until you need more space, then you should delete them.

zz file example
Figure: 'zz' your files rather than deleting them! Alternatively add a folder named zz and move the outdated files into the new folder

Warning: You should not zz if you are using source control.

Video versions and using 'zz' on YouTube

When uploading to some video hosting sites, like Vimeo, you can update a video by replacing the original video while keeping the same URL and view count.

In YouTube an uploaded video can't be replaced, so to create a new version of a video it will be uploaded as a new video with a new URL.

So that there are no broken or missing links, the video status is set to "unlisted", and we use the 'zz' process:

  • Add 'zz' to the beginning of the title.
  • Add a link to the latest version at the top of the description

Figure: Good example of the 'zz' process for YouTube videos

Using 'zz' in practise

When you see ‘zz’ in the title of the video description, it’s important to know how to access the latest version of the video so you’re not watching old content.

On YouTube click the ‘New Version’ link in the description.

Figure: How to access the latest video in the subject section

If you are deleting something that uses resources and/or cost money, it is a good idea to 'zz' it first - and use a follow up to remind yourself to delete it after a reasonable amount of time, as per: https://www.ssw.com.au/rules/follow-up-effectively/

Not ready to 'zz'? Use 'yy'

Other systems are used that are less aggressive than this 'zz' rule.

  • In .NET, the keyword "obsolete" is used to mark types and members of types that should no longer be used - these then turn up as a compiler warning
  • In HTML content, the keyword deprecated is often used

Both allow for some backward compatibility. In these cases, use 'yy' instead.

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