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[cross-project-issues-dev] Long file names (re eclipse.platform post)

Michael Moser just posted the following to the eclipse.platform
newsgroup, and I thought it might deserve mention on this list.  

I'm not sure what the actual Windows limit is.  In 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 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 Michael's memory stick is.

Here's Michael's post:

"Michael Moser" <mmo@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
>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
> 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
> too long" errors that then require annoying and unneccessary fiddling
> 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
> 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
> had ended up with a filename 
> (~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
> I think we need to find and use other mechanisms than ever growing 
> filenames and filename suffixes for this purpose (esp. multiple ones
> different levels like in the example above)! If we don't do that we
> end up with situations, where eclipse plugins will be usable ONLY when

> placed in a "C:\e"-root directory and otherwise be useless,
> and maybe even undeleteable!
> Developers, PLEASE try to avoid such unnecessarily long filenames!
> Michael

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