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 :frowning: 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 :wink: