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Developers beware: many eclipse filenames are getting too long for Windows... [message #325934] Mon, 03 March 2008 15:39 Go to next message
Michael Moser is currently offline Michael Moser
Messages: 914
Registered: July 2009
Senior Member
I would like to bring up an issue that is getting darn annoying and,
alas, also getting more and more frequent when dealing with eclipse and
misc. plugins on Windows and that is, that the filenames of misc.
plugins and their support files tend to get longer and longer up to a
point where this suddenly interferes or even blocks normal everyday
work. Suddenly files can not be copied or moved or backed up any more
and all kind of "normal" operations are suddenly aborted with "filename
too long" errors that then require annoying and unneccessary fiddling to
overcome and fix that situation!

E.g. I recently wanted to collect misc. plugins we are using in our
project in a directory "C:\eclipse_plugins". Trying to copy those files
later to a memory stick failed because of "filenames too long". When I
drilled down I had to learn that by creating a new top-level directory I
had ended up with a filename
" C:\eclipse_plugins\DTP-sdk-1.5\eclipse\plugins\org.eclipse.d atatools.source_1.5.1.200709251\src\org.eclipse.datatools.co nnectivity.sqm.server.ui_1.0.0.200709141\schema\org_eclipse_ datatools_connectivity_sqm_server_ui_ServerExplorerInitializ ationProvider.html "
(~260 characters long which obviously exceeds Windows limit of 255
characters).

I also already had cases, where it was impossible to copy eclipse
plugins to another machines, because already the
\\<machinename>\<sharename>...-prefix was enough to yield too long and
hence unusable filenames!

While I fully understand (and appreciate!) that eclipse distributions
use unique version identifications to make sure, there is no "library
version hell" developing and that .jar files can be uniquely identified,
I think we need to find and use other mechanisms than ever growing
filenames and filename suffixes for this purpose (esp. multiple ones on
different levels like in the example above)! If we don't do that we will
end up with situations, where eclipse plugins will be usable ONLY when
placed in a "C:\e"-root directory and otherwise be useless, inaccessible
and maybe even undeleteable!

Developers, PLEASE try to avoid such unnecessarily long filenames!

Michael
Re: Developers beware: many eclipse filenames are getting too long for Windows... [message #325939 is a reply to message #325934] Mon, 03 March 2008 18:02 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Eclipse User
Originally posted by: wharley.bea.com

"Michael Moser" <mmo@zurich.ibm.com> wrote in message
news:fqh639$942$1@build.eclipse.org...
>I would like to bring up an issue that is getting darn annoying and, alas,
>also getting more and more frequent when dealing with eclipse and misc.
>plugins on Windows and that is, that the filenames of misc. plugins and
>their support files tend to get longer and longer up to a point where this
>suddenly interferes or even blocks normal everyday work. Suddenly files can
>not be copied or moved or backed up any more and all kind of "normal"
>operations are suddenly aborted with "filename too long" errors that then
>require annoying and unneccessary fiddling to overcome and fix that
>situation! [...]


Michael, I've taken the liberty of sending your post to the
cross-product-issues-dev@eclipse.org mailing list, since it's obviously an
issue that is broader than just the Eclipse platform (e.g., it's hitting you
on a DTP file).

I'm not sure what the actual limit is. In
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_file_systems the limit of the
NTFS file system is described as being up to 32k characters, with each
individual segment being up to 255 characters; FAT32 is less well defined
but apparently still more than 260 characters total. But I think that some
tools - possibly including Windows Explorer and probably including the
Windows zip tool - don't handle paths longer than 255 characters total; and
I don't know what the filesystem on your memory stick is, and it seems
that's where the limit you hit was.

Either way, your point is a good one: real-world limits kick in around 255
characters and if Eclipse developers can be sensitive to that limit, it will
help.

The Java strategy of correlating package hierarchy with directory hierarchy
is one big cause of pathname growth, but in your example it seems to have
more to do with the excessively long name of the file itself.
Re: Developers beware: many eclipse filenames are getting too long for Windows... [message #325946 is a reply to message #325939] Mon, 03 March 2008 22:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Michael Moser is currently offline Michael Moser
Messages: 914
Registered: July 2009
Senior Member
Walter Harley wrote:
>> ...
> Michael, I've taken the liberty of sending your post to the
> cross-product-issues-dev@eclipse.org mailing list, since it's
> obviously an issue that is broader than just the Eclipse platform
> (e.g., it's hitting you on a DTP file).

Thanks and you're most welcome! The more people are aware of the issue
(and hence keep them at least in the back of their heads), the better.

I am hoping that this discussion might eventually lead to some (formal
or informal) requirement for eclipse projects to limit path & filename
lengths to, say, 220 characters or so, so that the user has at least 25
characters left at his/her discretion to specify share-names,
backup-paths, etc.

Michael
Re: Developers beware: many eclipse filenames are getting too long for Windows... [message #325947 is a reply to message #325946] Mon, 03 March 2008 23:07 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Eclipse User
Originally posted by: merks.ca.ibm.com

Michael,

I've run into issues like this trying to build the jars to bootstrap GMF
libraries; nested classes can result in really long names for files.
Nevertheless, it feels a little like we need to pay attention to
limitations from operating systems that originate back on the dark
ages. :-P


Michael Moser wrote:
> Walter Harley wrote:
>>> ...
>> Michael, I've taken the liberty of sending your post to the
>> cross-product-issues-dev@eclipse.org mailing list, since it's
>> obviously an issue that is broader than just the Eclipse platform
>> (e.g., it's hitting you on a DTP file).
>
> Thanks and you're most welcome! The more people are aware of the issue
> (and hence keep them at least in the back of their heads), the better.
>
> I am hoping that this discussion might eventually lead to some (formal
> or informal) requirement for eclipse projects to limit path & filename
> lengths to, say, 220 characters or so, so that the user has at least
> 25 characters left at his/her discretion to specify share-names,
> backup-paths, etc.
>
> Michael
>
Re: Developers beware: many eclipse filenames are getting too long for Windows... [message #325967 is a reply to message #325947] Tue, 04 March 2008 12:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Michael Moser is currently offline Michael Moser
Messages: 914
Registered: July 2009
Senior Member
Ed Merks wrote:
> Michael,
>
> I've run into issues like this trying to build the jars to bootstrap
> GMF libraries; nested classes can result in really long names for
> files. Nevertheless, it feels a little like we need to pay attention
> to limitations from operating systems that originate back on the dark
> ages. :-P

True, but on the other hand it's a real-life limitation that we will
still have to live with (at least for a while to come) and these
enormously long file-/pathnames also have drawbacks under other
circumstances, e.g. when dealing with (like editing) scripts, when they
become part of log-file entries which then become almost unreadable,
etc.

So, even if we could and there were no such limitations, we probably
shouldn't overdo it simply for manageability reasons.

Michael
Re: Developers beware: many eclipse filenames are getting too long for Windows... [message #328345 is a reply to message #325934] Thu, 22 May 2008 13:50 Go to previous message
Eclipse User
Originally posted by: eclipse-news.rizzoweb.com

Did a Bugzilla ever come out of this? I'm looking for something to
monitor and/or comment on because we are close to releasing a product
that depends on DTP and our QA keeps bumping into this if they try to
install to any directory that is longer than about 6 characters.

Thanks,
Eric


Michael Moser wrote:
> I would like to bring up an issue that is getting darn annoying and,
> alas, also getting more and more frequent when dealing with eclipse and
> misc. plugins on Windows and that is, that the filenames of misc.
> plugins and their support files tend to get longer and longer up to a
> point where this suddenly interferes or even blocks normal everyday
> work. Suddenly files can not be copied or moved or backed up any more
> and all kind of "normal" operations are suddenly aborted with "filename
> too long" errors that then require annoying and unneccessary fiddling to
> overcome and fix that situation!
>
> E.g. I recently wanted to collect misc. plugins we are using in our
> project in a directory "C:\eclipse_plugins". Trying to copy those files
> later to a memory stick failed because of "filenames too long". When I
> drilled down I had to learn that by creating a new top-level directory I
> had ended up with a filename
> " C:\eclipse_plugins\DTP-sdk-1.5\eclipse\plugins\org.eclipse.d atatools.source_1.5.1.200709251\src\org.eclipse.datatools.co nnectivity.sqm.server.ui_1.0.0.200709141\schema\org_eclipse_ datatools_connectivity_sqm_server_ui_ServerExplorerInitializ ationProvider.html "
> (~260 characters long which obviously exceeds Windows limit of 255
> characters).
>
> I also already had cases, where it was impossible to copy eclipse
> plugins to another machines, because already the
> \\<machinename>\<sharename>...-prefix was enough to yield too long and
> hence unusable filenames!
>
> While I fully understand (and appreciate!) that eclipse distributions
> use unique version identifications to make sure, there is no "library
> version hell" developing and that .jar files can be uniquely identified,
> I think we need to find and use other mechanisms than ever growing
> filenames and filename suffixes for this purpose (esp. multiple ones on
> different levels like in the example above)! If we don't do that we will
> end up with situations, where eclipse plugins will be usable ONLY when
> placed in a "C:\e"-root directory and otherwise be useless, inaccessible
> and maybe even undeleteable!
>
> Developers, PLEASE try to avoid such unnecessarily long filenames!
>
> Michael
>
>
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