Character checking when naming files for sharing

This may sound like something from a book entitled "File Naming for Dummies," but I'd like to suggest that FotoMagico performs a character check on file names when the user enters a name when saving a file under any of the options from the Share menu.

In particular, I was saving a slideshow in QT format and I used the "/" character in the file name. Although the "/" character is a legal character in file names for the Mac, FM4 "renamed" the file by substituting a ":" character in its place -- all by itself. The ":" character is NOT allowed in file names. But there was no warning ahead of time that the resulting name was illegal.

What happened was that I missed seeing that at the top of the dialog box but clicked through to start the conversion process. Four hours later I received a warning that an error occurred and the file could not be saved!! Ouch :-( It took a bit of doing to realize why the error popped up.

If FotoMagico could perform an error-check on filenames for the use of any illegal characters BEFORE the conversion process starts, it would save hours of wasted time ending in a failure at the end. To add to that, WHY did FM4 change the "/" to a ":" anyway?


  • This is a legacy problem: in old MacOS days the ":" was used to build folder paths like "Macintosh HD:Desktop Folder:My File.txt". Once MacOS-X was introduced the file structure suddenly was Unix based and folder paths has to look like "Volumes/Macintosh HD/Desktop Folder/My File.txt". For backward compatibility (e.g. Apple Script) the system has APIs to work with both path formats. If you enter a "/" in a filename (e.g. "My/File.txt") it will be converted into ":", so the Unix path actually looks like "Volumes/Macintosh HD/Desktop Folder/My:File.txt" on the disk. The Finder is converting ":" back to "/" when displaying the name on screen. Unfortunately FotoMagico 4.0.x is using old QuickTime APIs to do the export and that's why you get in trouble when using ":" or "/" in your filenames. Please prevent those characters! Sorry for that! We are going to adopt the export process to the new QuickTime API soon which should solve this problem.
  • Thanks for the explanation, Achim -- I'll keep my fingers off the "/" and ":" keys for a while ;-)
Sign In or Register to comment.