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Re: punctuation and path names

From: Jim Luther <luther.j@apple.com>
Date: Wed, 28 May 2008 09:56:41 -0700
To: WebDAV <w3c-dist-auth@w3.org>
Message-Id: <A69146D6-BA9F-44A3-AFE8-C6BB9A5C19B8@apple.com>

On May 27, 2008, at 3:13 PM, Werner Baumann wrote:

> Each operating system has a set of restricted characters, that must  
> not be used in file names. Additionally there are still files  
> systems that are case insensitive.

Another problem to note is with UTF precomposed vs UTF decomposed --  
some servers don't support both.

You'll also find servers that restrict the characters allowed even  
though the file system used by the server does not have those  
restrictions. For example <http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;905231 

For customers of Apple's .Mac service's iDisk (a WebDAV file server),  
we have the following recommendations <http://help.apple.com/mac2/1/help/homepage/pgs/hpg21.html 
 > for file names.

In Apple's WebDAV file system client, we don't allow "/" characters or  
NUL characters. Anything other characters we get are properly percent- 
encoded and sent to the server. It might work on the server, it might  

Going back to the original question...

On May 27, 2008, at 11:04 AM, Phillips, Mark wrote:

> I have a question regarding embedded punctuation, e.g. forward and  
> backward slashes, colons, question marks, etc.. The source data and  
> end user habits seem to require performing a substitution for some  
> components of the URI. Say, "Client 16_Red Documents" in lieu of  
> "Client 16/Red Documents". That is, I have reached the gap between  
> correct URI and human language.

Before Mac OS X, our file system APIs used the ":" character as a path  
separator. So with Mac OS X those older APIs convert ":" to "/" and  
convert "/" to ":" when building a path to send to the Mac OS X file  
system APIs. For names coming back from the Mac OS X APIs, we do the  
opposite conversion.

- Jim
Received on Wednesday, 28 May 2008 16:57:22 UTC

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