invalid character ":" - historical artefact?

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invalid character ":" - historical artefact?

Stefan Vollmar
Hello,

one of our scientists tried to sync files with a colon in the filename. This failed with an "Invalid characters" comment in the sync log. I know that colons were a no-no in file paths on Mac operating systems before MacOS X as the colon was used as a path separator. However, as far as I know, this is history and the colon (much as a bunch of other "special" characters including "!", "&", "?" or, in particular " " which I would not use in my own work) traditionally makes life unnecessarily difficult when scripting on Unix - but it is technically possible to use on all modern file systems (though, again, probably not advisable). But maybe there is a technical reason to forbid colons in file names that I am not aware of?

Warm regards,
 Stefan
--
Dr. Stefan Vollmar, Dipl.-Phys.
Head of IT group
Max-Planck-Institut für neurologische Forschung
Gleueler Str. 50, 50931 Köln, Germany
Tel.: +49-221-4726-213  FAX +49-221-4726-298
Tel.: +49-221-478-5713  Mobile: 0160-93874279
E-Mail: [hidden email]   http://www.nf.mpg.de









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Re: invalid character ":" - historical artefact?

Markus Goetz
Hi Stefan,

On 27.09.13 10:01, Stefan Vollmar wrote:
> one of our scientists tried to sync files with a colon in the filename. This failed with an "Invalid characters" comment in the sync log. I know that colons were a no-no in file paths on Mac operating systems before MacOS X as the colon was used as a path separator. However, as far as I know, this is history and the colon (much as a bunch of other "special" characters including "!", "&", "?" or, in particular " " which I would not use in my own work) traditionally makes life unnecessarily difficult when scripting on Unix - but it is technically possible to use on all modern file systems (though, again, probably not advisable). But maybe there is a technical reason to forbid colons in file names that I am not aware of?
>
>
I think the reasoning is that a file should be able to be synced on
Linux, OS X and Windows. And Windows uses : for the drive letter,
c:\owncloud\ .. So it is out.


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Re: invalid character ":" - historical artefact?

Klaas Freitag-3
On 27.09.2013 10:40, Markus Goetz wrote:

> Hi Stefan,
>
> On 27.09.13 10:01, Stefan Vollmar wrote:
>> one of our scientists tried to sync files with a colon in the
>> filename. This failed with an "Invalid characters" comment in the sync
>> log. I know that colons were a no-no in file paths on Mac operating
>> systems before MacOS X as the colon was used as a path separator.
>> However, as far as I know, this is history and the colon (much as a
>> bunch of other "special" characters including "!", "&", "?" or, in
>> particular " " which I would not use in my own work) traditionally
>> makes life unnecessarily difficult when scripting on Unix - but it is
>> technically possible to use on all modern file systems (though, again,
>> probably not advisable). But maybe there is a technical reason to
>> forbid colons in file names that I am not aware of?
>>
>>
> I think the reasoning is that a file should be able to be synced on
> Linux, OS X and Windows. And Windows uses : for the drive letter,
> c:\owncloud\ .. So it is out.

Yes, we decided to only allow chars that work on all three supported
systems.

Klaas


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Re: invalid character ":" - historical artefact?

Stefan Vollmar
In reply to this post by Markus Goetz
Dear Markus,

On 27.09.2013, at 10:40, Markus Goetz wrote:

> Hi Stefan,
>
> On 27.09.13 10:01, Stefan Vollmar wrote:
>> one of our scientists tried to sync files with a colon in the filename. This failed with an "Invalid characters" comment in the sync log. I know that colons were a no-no in file paths on Mac operating systems before MacOS X as the colon was used as a path separator. However, as far as I know, this is history and the colon (much as a bunch of other "special" characters including "!", "&", "?" or, in particular " " which I would not use in my own work) traditionally makes life unnecessarily difficult when scripting on Unix - but it is technically possible to use on all modern file systems (though, again, probably not advisable). But maybe there is a technical reason to forbid colons in file names that I am not aware of?
>>
> I think the reasoning is that a file should be able to be synced on Linux, OS X and Windows. And Windows uses : for the drive letter, c:\owncloud\ .. So it is out.


Apparently, I was wrong in assuming that ":" was part of the offending path on MacOS X. It turns out, that our colleague used a directory name which contained a "/" character - the sync-client displays this as ":". I fully agree that "/" is most awkward in a directory name, however, it is valid on MacOS X (and DropBox handles it correctly). We urged our colleague to rename the directory and - voilà - everything seems to work now.

Warm regards,
 Stefan
--
Dr. Stefan Vollmar, Dipl.-Phys.
Head of IT group
Max-Planck-Institut für neurologische Forschung
Gleueler Str. 50, 50931 Köln, Germany
Tel.: +49-221-4726-213  FAX +49-221-4726-298
Tel.: +49-221-478-5713  Mobile: 0160-93874279
E-Mail: [hidden email]   http://www.nf.mpg.de









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Re: invalid character ":" - historical artefact?

Chris-3
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