Long file names

Do you have users that name files/folders in sentence format?

We have some users that name folder structure(s) like this:

last name, first name dd.oo.bbbb [folder]

{blah blah} here is a phrase for a folder (more folder name) [sub
folder}

file name ~ that is actually longer that what I’ve typed here

The words are not the same as their actual words in the file/folder
names, but the special chars are in there, and their file/folder names
are longer than what I typed in here.

We’ve talked to people in this dept before about this, but apparently
it fell on deaf ears. What have you done in dealing with folder
structures like this? Were you able to get the users to cut the names
down? If so, HOW!??!!

Thanks,


Stevo

Sorry to be annoying but… why does this matter? I hate the names like
this, but I do not see why it justifies being looked at other than by the
sorry folks who can’t seem to come up with names that make IT people smile.

Good luck.

ab sounds like they ‘said’:
[color=blue]

Sorry to be annoying but… why does this matter? I hate the names
like this, but I do not see why it justifies being looked at other
than by the sorry folks who can’t seem to come up with names that
make IT people smile.

Good luck.[/color]

So my response to ab’s comment is…

We are looking at migrating data to a different server, and some of
these are causing problems for data copies.

Also, have heard some complaints of people not being able to get back
into these files.


Stevo

How about this:

Create a cron job which uses the ‘find’ command and deletes anything that
you deem to be “evil” in nature. When users complain tell them it’s
because more characters make the server work harder and drive up costs so
short names are required. If that’s too obvious a lie for end users, try
something like the length of the names must be kept in memory and the
computer needs to handle all of these at once and it’s too much to
remember. As a test, ask them if they can remember the exact name of
their directories without looking.

What is this software you are using, out of curiosity? Because I’m a sick
individual I’ve setup a few multi-hundred-character files/directories and
copied them around without issue, so I assume this is some software with
less brainpower than the ‘cp’ or ‘mv’ commands.

Are the machines hosting the disks that are being moved physical or virtual?

Good luck.

ab sounds like they ‘said’:
[color=blue]

How about this:

Create a cron job which uses the ‘find’ command and deletes anything
that you deem to be “evil” in nature. When users complain tell them
it’s because more characters make the server work harder and drive up
costs so short names are required. If that’s too obvious a lie for
end users, try something like the length of the names must be kept in
memory and the computer needs to handle all of these at once and it’s
too much to remember. As a test, ask them if they can remember the
exact name of their directories without looking.

What is this software you are using, out of curiosity? Because I’m a
sick individual I’ve setup a few multi-hundred-character
files/directories and copied them around without issue, so I assume
this is some software with less brainpower than the ‘cp’ or ‘mv’
commands.

Are the machines hosting the disks that are being moved physical or
virtual?

Good luck.[/color]

So my response to ab’s comment is…

I’d like to do something like that, I’m sure my boss would put the
kybosh (sp?) on it…

Just word processing software, and windows os. When I try to rename
one of these real long files (with XP), I get an error: Cannot rename
: The filename, directory name, or volume label syntax is
incorrect.

In windows 7, I don’t even have the option to rename it.

Some of these are ms word-macro enabled docs.

I’m unable to rename the folder in which this file resides, the user is
unable to rename it either.


Stevo

ab;2246031 Wrote:[color=blue]

Sorry to be annoying but… why does this matter? I hate the names
like
this, but I do not see why it justifies being looked at other than by
the
sorry folks who can’t seem to come up with names that make IT people
smile.

Good luck.[/color]

It matters because either there’s a bug in the Novell client or
Netware/OES software or a “feature” of MS Windows.

You can, apparently, create and WRITE a file well in excess of 255
characters to a NetWare or OES Linux server via NCP just fine. But then
you won’t be able to update/modify/delete it.

We’ve only ever been able to use the native Linux tools or the Linux
NRM view to rename/delete/etc. the file

I’d stumbled across some obtuse MS article that was confusing as all
heck as to what the “real” limit for file names is/was.

It just seemed really odd that you could CREATE something in violation
of the limit, but then not be able to modify/save/overwrite/delete it
(you CAN open it and look at it though).


The opinions expressed are my own.
Check out my OES2 Guides:
Installing OES2 SP2:
http://www.novell.com/communities/node/11600/oes2-sp2-installation-guide
Upgrading to OES2 with ID Transfer:
http://www.novell.com/communities/node/11601/oes2-sp2-migration-guide-transfer-id-scenarios
GroupWise Migration with OES2 ID Transfer:
http://www.novell.com/communities/node/11602/groupwise-migration-netware-oes2-sp2-transfer-id

kjhurni’s Profile: http://forums.novell.com/member.php?userid=734
View this thread: http://forums.novell.com/showthread.php?t=464016

Stevo wrote:
[color=blue]

Do you have users that name files/folders in sentence format?[/color]

Yes. And I have users that try to tunnel to the center of the earth with sub
directories. Annoying. And yes I’ve had cases where I can’t work with the
files. Normally I get calls when someone gets a .pdf attachment from someone
who doesn’t understand file lengths or special characters…Hey maybe our
users are correpsonding with each other. : )

GofBorg sounds like they ‘said’:
[color=blue]

Yes. And I have users that try to tunnel to the center of the earth
with sub directories. Annoying. And yes I’ve had cases where I can’t
work with the files. Normally I get calls when someone gets a .pdf
attachment from someone who doesn’t understand file lengths or
special characters…Hey maybe our users are correpsonding with each
other. : )[/color]

So my response to GofBorg’s comment is…

Could be, you never know.

Sometimes I get a call about an attachment that did not come through
with an email.

When I go find said attachment, it’s named something like:

attachment 1.date.time.name.of.author.pdf, and of course we’re
stripping off attachments with multiple extensions. People I guess
don’t understand extensions…sigh


Stevo

kjhurni wrote:
[color=blue]

It matters because either there’s a bug in the Novell client or
Netware/OES software or a “feature” of MS Windows.

You can, apparently, create and WRITE a file well in excess of 255
characters to a NetWare or OES Linux server via NCP just fine. But
then you won’t be able to update/modify/delete it.

We’ve only ever been able to use the native Linux tools or the Linux
NRM view to rename/delete/etc. the file[/color]

Normally, regardless of the OS that hosts the file, I’ll map a drive as
deep in the directory structure as possible to get at the file.
[color=blue]

I’d stumbled across some obtuse MS article that was confusing as all
heck as to what the “real” limit for file names is/was.[/color]

You mean this one? :slight_smile:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-nz/library/windows/desktop/aa365247%28v=vs.85%29.aspx#maxpath

In short, there is a hard-coded limit in Windows of ~260 characters
depending on the function that is called - UNICODE versions of the
functions have a different limit.
IIRC the maxpath is defined as a #DEFINE in a Windows header, which
means it is perfectly reasonable to expect older programs to be hard
coded with that value to honour the value rather than what the OS
actually returns.

I like this little pearl from the link above - which actually makes
sense if you think about creating shares
“The shell and the file system have different requirements. It is
possible to create a path with the Windows API that the shell user
interface is not able to interpret properly.”

There was a blog or a video that I read/watched within the last year or
two where a MS employee was talking about the challenges of changing
the limits - they were significant from an application compatibility
perspective.

Sometimes I get a call about an attachment that did not come through[color=blue]
with an email.[/color]

%242342wre2%Annual%@report%regarding%something%of%great%importance%-%really%it_is%^f2n2kjn3nn_54i5nj5in342.
%pdf%.pdf/~^

I like this little pearl from the link above - which actually makes[color=blue]
sense if you think about creating shares
“The shell and the file system have different requirements. It is
possible to create a path with the Windows API that the shell user
interface is not able to interpret properly.”[/color]

Especially when the shell interprets:

2013 Income Tax Refund General Stats for Fiscal Year as:

2013_INC~1

GofBorg sounds like they ‘said’:
[color=blue]

%242342wre2%Annual%@report%regarding%something%of%great%importance%-%r
eally%it_is%^f2n2kjn3nn_54i5nj5in342. %pdf%.pdf/~^[/color]

So my response to GofBorg’s comment is…

Seriously!?! Holy buckets!


Stevo

When I go find said attachment, it’s named something like:[color=blue]

attachment 1.date.time.name.of.author.pdf, and of course we’re
stripping off attachments with multiple extensions. People I guess
don’t understand extensions…sigh[/color]

I’m not trying to be contrary, but this is contrary to that statement.

The problem with extensions is that people DO understand them, better than
most IT folks. Here’s a test:

What is in this file: somefile.txt

Now windows will helpfully hide that last bit, so you’ll actually just see:

somefile

IT folks incorrect answer: plain text.

Pednatic IT folks: plain text, probably ascii-based, with either newlines
only (on *nix platforms) or carriage-return/newline combinations (for
windows) or just carriage returns (for old Mac OS boxes).

End user: I dunno.

And who is correct? The end user. Extensions don’t mean anything, at
all, ever. It is only because some programs act based on this text that
happens to be at the end after a dot that we think extensions mean
something, but they don’t, and really never should have. IT folks moved
away from books and probably forgot what “Don’t judge a book by its cover”
means, so they used extensions as covers that meant something even though
they are just a cover for whatever happens to be inside. This affects
people from a security perspective (probably why e-mails with attachments
with multiple extensions are stripped) because that evil extension-hiding
feature in windows lets you send crap like this:

awesome-pic.jpg.exe

and because the last bit is stripped off (asinine, really asinine) it
looks like awesome-pic.jpg and then people open it. While stripping these
attachments out fixes this specific use case, it does nothing for the real
problem: end users running things that they should not. Phishing? Sites
with questionable content that they willingly install (“It’s just a screen
saver…”)? The problem isn’t extensions, the problem isn’t file names,
we like to partition files into buckets based on extensions but they
really don’t mean more than any scapegoat does. The problems is
understanding what is really in the file (regardless of the extension) and
understanding why users are going after it in the first place (or in your
case, why they are using really long file names in the first place).

The last time I saw a file with a name like that it was because microsoft
word didn’t require users to specify a file name that they made up;
instead, it took the first line of the document and made that the file
name. When the user opted to save it they took that default and voila,
long file name. That’s not microsoft’s fault, or word’s fault… it’s the
user’s choice and in a vacuum of better ways to name things that’s what
they chose.

Good luck.

Good post Aaron. The last .xxx on a file just tells the OS what
program to try to open it with, if you’ve configured an association
(or stuck with the default associations). Also, the FIRST thing I
personally do after I install Winderz is to tell it to display all
extensions for known file types and go from there.


Kim - 2/13/2013 11:00:43 AM

%242342wre2%Annual%@report%regarding%something%of%great%importance%-%r[color=blue][color=green]
eally%it_is%^f2n2kjn3nn_54i5nj5in342. %pdf%.pdf/~^[/color]

So my response to GofBorg’s comment is…

Seriously!?! Holy buckets!
[/color]

Yes seriously. I have no idea what system generates these filenames but
it’s a piece of work.

[color=blue]

somefile

IT folks incorrect answer: plain text.[/color]

Not sure where you get your IT folks. My first thought was ‘unknown’.
Even when I see a file named something like file.xls, I don’t assume it’s
an excel file. Why? End (l)users are notorious for naming files incorrectly.
If an ‘excel’ file won’t open for a user, I open it in a text editor to
ferret out whether or not it actually is an excel file. Usually it’s a word
doc.

Blanket statements like ‘IT doesn’t get it’ are incorrect.

GofBorg sounds like they ‘said’:
[color=blue]

Yes seriously. I have no idea what system generates these filenames
but it’s a piece of work.[/color]

So my response to GofBorg’s comment is…

No kidding. Sounds like some sleuthing is in order.


Stevo

Blanket statements like ‘IT doesn’t get it’ are incorrect.

Good thing I didn’t write that, then.

Good luck.