File Naming Conventions / Incompatible Characters

The File Fabric covers a myriad of storage solution in addition to being able to be presented on files systems on a multitude of Operating Systems. There is no guarantee that naming conventions from back-end storage solutions will be honoured on end user file systems.

Generally you should not name your files or folders with the following characters:

/ (forward slash)

\ (backslash)

When naming your files, avoid characters incompatible with the Windows file system:

'<' (less than)
'>' (greater than)
':' (colon)
'"' (double quote)
'|' (vertical bar or pipe)
'?' (question mark)
'*' (asterisk)

Files or folders that begin with a period will meta-sync properly but Mac, Linux, Windows operating systems may regard them as system files and hide them automatically. You may not be able to see them without modifying advanced settings on your PC.

Also please be aware of other character issues that are not immediately obvious but can cause conflicts or issues such as leading or trailing spaces in directory names or files for example.

Also be aware of using characters that are not generally considered best practice, such as tildes(~)for example, which should not really be used in a file / folder, as on many file systems a file/folder name may contain a tilde within each component of the name that is too long to comply with normal naming rules.

As The File Fabric supports data that may already exist on a storage endpoint that data may not honour the data integrity semantics of the Windows / Mac / Linux operating systems.

Examples include duplicate file names, limitation on long file names, duplicate path etc.

This may lead to issues being able to access data through the drive as the windows / Mac / Linux operating system is unable to present it.

If this is the case then consider using the File Fabric web interface or the Cloud Explorer Application for such files, and additionally if you intend to work with such storage from a desktop files system consider naming conventions that will not trip up the operating system (note this is only applicable to the drives not other self contained desktop applications).

Some files may be ignored such as temporary files, and also there may be files particular to an operating system, such as Mac ds_store files that are ignored and do not get meta-synchronized.

Windows only allows file and folder names of 260 characters or less. Also please note that Windows counts the file path as part of the name. If the entire file path and name exceed 260 characters, shorten the name or restructure the folder hierarchy.

Linux operating systems enable users to have two files or folders with the same name but different capitalization. By default, Mac and Windows do not differentiate file or folder names by case. If the File Fabric comes across files/folders with the same name but different case, it may show the first it comes across from an internal ID perspective. To enable full interoperability one of the files/folders should be renamed.

When applications such as Microsoft Word / Excel / PowerPoint open a file, they may save a temporary file in the same directory which can be named as follows:

  • Name begins with ~$ (a tilde and dollar sign) or .~ (a period and tilde)
  • Name begins with a tilde and ends in .tmp, such as ~filename.tmp
  • The File Fabric does not meta-sync such temporary files.
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