FILE_ID.DIZ is a plain text
In computing, plain text is the contents of an ordinary sequential file readable as textual material without much processing, usually opposed to formatted text....
file containing a brief content
description of the archive in which it is included.
It was originally used in archives distributed through bulletin board system
A Bulletin Board System, or BBS, is a computer system running software that allows users to connect and log in to the system using a terminal program. Once logged in, a user can perform functions such as uploading and downloading software and data, reading news and bulletins, and exchanging...
Bulletin boards commonly accept uploaded files from their users. The BBS software would prompt the user to supply a description for the uploaded file, but these descriptions were often less than useful. BBS system operators spent many hours going over the upload descriptions correcting and editing the descriptions. The FILE_ID.DIZ
inclusion in archives was designed to address this problem.
stands for "file identification". DIZ
stands for Description In Zipfile. In addition, when written in lowercase and viewed upside-down or rotated 180 degrees, the 'diz' file extension looks like 'zip'.
Clark Development and the Association of Shareware Professionals
The Association of Software Professionals , formerly Association of Shareware Professionals, is a professional association for authors of shareware computer software...
supported the idea of this becoming a standard for file descriptions. Clark rewrote the PCBDescribe program and included it with their PCBoard
PCBoard was a bulletin board system application first introduced for DOS in 1983 by Clark Development Corporation. Clark Development was founded by Fred Clark. PCBoard was one of the first commercial BBS packages for DOS systems, and was considered one of the "high end" packages during the rapid...
BBS software. The ASP urged their members to use this description file format in their distributions. Mr. Leavitt released the file specification and his PCBDescribe program source code to the public domain and urged other BBS software companies to support the DIZ file.
Traditionally, a FILE_ID.DIZ should be "up to 10 lines of text, each line being no more than 45 characters long." according to the specification v1.9 — this restriction however is rarely observed nowadays.
Reference to v1.9 does not accurately describe the specification. While the online community was welcomed to make use of the FILE_ID.DIZ specification, the author did not anticipate or approve others claiming the authority to revise the specification or grant exceptions. The 450 character limit was chosen to allow DIZ files to be used in almost all online applications. Expanding the size of DIZ files will break compatibility in some applications and should be avoided. The concept of DIZ files was to allow a concise description of uploaded files to be automatically applied - advertisements and "high ASCII" artwork were specifically prohibited. When used as intended, DIZ files provide a benefit to system operators and the online community. By preserving the purpose of the FILE_ID.DIZ file, the maximum number of people will benefit.
.nfo is a commonly used three-letter filename extension of ASCII or extended ASCII text files that accompany other files and contain information about them. Such NFO files can be viewed with text editors or dedicated NFO viewers...
— another standard for description files
A readme file contains information about other files in a directory or archive and is commonly distributed with computer software. Such a file is usually a text file called README.TXT, README.1ST, READ.ME, or simply README, although some Microsoft Windows software may occasionally include a...
- Portable Application Description
Portable Application Description is a machine-readable document format designed by the Association of Shareware Professionals.It allows authors to provide product descriptions and specifications to online sources in a standard way, using a simple XML schema that allows webmasters and program...
— a newer and more verbose alternative