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what special characters are not allowed in file names? [message #75098] Thu, 19 September 2013 20:58 UTC Go to next message
avatar MrNib  is currently offline MrNib
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Registered: November 2012
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I have been using special character symbols in the names of files in my store so that when you alphabetize the models they sort into specific groups. For example all of my miscellaneous models begin with "*" and all of my pen holders begin with "-". This also makes it easier to manage the full model list in terms of being able to quickly see what's in the store and what is not in the store since the specially tagged models show up first on the alphabetized list. It also helps to categorize the models in the store when a viewer is looking at all of the models at one time. Otherwise everything can be all jumbled in a nonsensical order.

Everything was fine until I tried to change a couple of models into a new category with names beginning with the special character "<" and now the name of the file is no longer editable in the editor. In fact at this point the files are completely messed up after trying to reverse the change. In other words selecting a model name with an improper character available on the keyboard can render the editor unstable and unusable!

I assume that using special characters is somehow running afoul of codes utilized in html code. So what special characters are allowed to be used in model names and which ones are not? Is there a better way to sort and display models falling into different groups when viewing all models? Is there a way to add safeguards to the editor itself to circumvent this problem???

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I was using this chart to determine the order of alphabetizing...

index.php?t=getfile&id=41345&private=0

[Updated on: Thu, 19 September 2013 21:06 UTC]

Re: what special characters are not allowed in file names? [message #75108 is a reply to message #75098 ] Thu, 19 September 2013 23:39 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar stonysmith  is currently offline stonysmith
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This is purely my own opinion: I would strongly suggest that you select a different method for grouping your items.

{}[]\|<>?/@^%$#&* are all characters that are the heart and soul of the internet. It is exceedingly difficult to get a website to be happy with "all" of them, and as you've seen, you're actually more likely to cause the page to fail somehow. All the business websites that I work with (in my day job) disallow such characters. Any one of my sites would strip those out of the name and description field(s) without mercy.

There's a great internet meme on the subject here http://xkcd.com/327/

Either use a plain vanilla number system, 00, 01, 02, 03 .. or get creative and use some names such as Ape, Bear, Cheetah, but special characters? That just looks to the buyer like you made a mistake in typing.

Again.. I mean no offense. One big trouble with your method is that if you try to link to a model named that way from an external website, the link will probably fail due to the special character(s). Try posting a Flickr link on certain social media sites.. the @ character in their photo names causes a bad link.


Patience, Persistance, Politeness - the 3Ps will help us get us to Perfect Printed Products
Re: what special characters are not allowed in file names? [message #75109 is a reply to message #75108 ] Fri, 20 September 2013 00:38 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar MrNib  is currently offline MrNib
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You are probably correct, I did not realize this would be a big problem, especially since it worked fine with several other characters. Also I had assumed that the system would parse and pre-screen any such keyboard entries to protect the system and the user. But it turns out that even an inadvertent character entry can render the editor on your model page mostly useless and you can't reverse the edit. This is the result of poor interface software. It reminds me of a story of a drone that was almost crashed because the operator inadvertently leaned on some buttons of a keyboard.

I've done some other experiments by creating four test files in Tinkercad and either uploading them directly to Shapeways or first downloading them to my computer and then to Shapeways. I have them set as public should anyone be interested in seeing the mess ups. Basically a < character anywhere seems to causes chaos. You can successfully save a file in Tinkercad as <test2 and you can successfully upload it to Shapeways using Tinkercad's API interface, but it is messed up once it gets to Shapeways. So in addition there are not sufficient checks in the API software to prevent this during a third party upload.

An additional alarming thing I noticed was that you may also not include the < character in your model description! If you do it will not display the character or any other text following the symbol in your description. I think this is because there is one large data file being used to store information about your model (including the description) and the filters that are being used to transplant information to the display template pages are confused by an additional < character ANYWHERE in that file. It makes you wonder what ANY other character available on a keyboard typed into the editor might mess up. It's not like these are obscure control codes or html code or whatever else being entered into the editor. Never underestimate the "creativity" of system users!



[Updated on: Fri, 20 September 2013 01:23 UTC]

Re: what special characters are not allowed in file names? [message #75113 is a reply to message #75109 ] Fri, 20 September 2013 02:04 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar stannum  is currently offline stannum
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The description issue is because that field is HTML, so you just opened a tag.
Re: what special characters are not allowed in file names? [message #75114 is a reply to message #75109 ] Fri, 20 September 2013 03:01 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar stonysmith  is currently offline stonysmith
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The description field specifically allows HTML codes such as <br> or <font color=red>
If you need the < by itself use the escaped version: &lt;


Patience, Persistance, Politeness - the 3Ps will help us get us to Perfect Printed Products
Re: what special characters are not allowed in file names? [message #75115 is a reply to message #75114 ] Fri, 20 September 2013 03:30 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar MrNib  is currently offline MrNib
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I guess the problem is for people who unknowingly mess up their model files because they don't realize a seemingly innocent keyboard character here or there can mess things up. Is it a bug or a feature? I don't know. I've learned my lesson at this point! But now I am forced to go through customer service to repair my corrupted model pages or I need to delete them and upload the models and re-enter other information all over again.

Would it be possible to set edit options for the model description field such that an html edit mode can be selected for people wanting to use html code? I can type this < < < < < here all day and nothing bad happens. It might make sense to have a default non-html input mode for normal mopes like me that are not aware of the dangers of accidentally crossing the border into html land.
Re: what special characters are not allowed in file names? [message #75116 is a reply to message #75098 ] Fri, 20 September 2013 03:52 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar MrNib  is currently offline MrNib
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This is all the stuff now visible in one of my edit details windows, which I assume was once the box that used to only display the model name. Any idea of what to remove to change the model name from <test3 back to a more benign test3 ?? I think I can edit this in the window but I'm not sure! Laughing Laughing Laughing


<test3< h1=""> <div id="model-details-o</h1> <div id=" model-details-overview"="" class="clearfix"> <style type="text/css"> #chooseUploadScale { display: none; font-weight: bold; border-bottom: 1px solid #DDDDDD; box-shadow: 0 2px 0 white; padding: 3px; } #chooseUploadScale a { margin: 10px; } #uploadModelError { display: none; } #isIEBrowser { display: none; } </style><div> <p class="span-4">File Name: <strong class="file-name">test3.x3d</strong></p></div><div id="model-detail-bounds-info"> <div id="model-detail-original-bounds-info" class="span-3"> Original Bounds: <br> In: <strong>1 w x 0.3 d x 1 h</strong> <br> Cm: <strong>2.54 w x 0.762 d x 2.54 h</strong> </div> <div id="model-detail-oriented-bounds-info" class="span-3 last"> Oriented Bounds: <br> In: <strong>0.995 w x 0.3 d x 0.995 h</strong> <br> Cm: <strong>2.528 w x 0.762 d x 2.528 h</strong> <div id="model-detail-density-info"> Volume: <strong class="volume">1.1443cm<sup>3</sup></strong> <br> Density: <strong class="density">23.50%</strong> </div> </div></div> <div id="update-file-button"> <div class="error" id="uploadModelError"></div> <!--[if IE]> <div id="isIEBrowser"></div><![endif]--> <div id="uploader1358693" class="uploader left" style="position: relative;"> <a href="/model/edit/upload?model=1358693" id="uploaderButton1358693" data-model="1358693" class="subtle-button-inset" style="z-index: 0;">Update File</a> <span class="upload-status" id="uploadStatus1358693"></span> <div id="p184snlkr61rlpvuu1g2egks1pvq0_html5_container" class="plupload html5" style="position: absolute; background-color: transparent; width: 98px; height: 34px; overflow: hidden; z-index: -1; opacity: 0; top: 5px; left: 0px; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;"><input id="p184snlkr61rlpvuu1g2egks1pvq0_html5" style="font-size: 999px; position: absolute; width: 100%; height: 100%;" type="file" accept=""></div></div> <div id="chooseUploadScale" class="choose-upload-scale"> <a href="" class="action-button block" id="chooseUploadScaleMeters" data-scale="0">Meters</a> <a href="" class="action-button block" id="chooseUploadScaleInches" data-scale="1">Inches</a> <a href="" class="action-button block" id="chooseUploadScaleMillimeters" data-scale="2">Millimeters</a> </div> </div> </div> </test3<>
Re: what special characters are not allowed in file names? [message #75118 is a reply to message #75098 ] Fri, 20 September 2013 05:19 UTC Go to previous message
avatar MrNib  is currently offline MrNib
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Another update.

When I uploaded <test2 from Tinkercad the API and upload process did indeed seem to strip out the entire offending file model name from the file name box, and it stripped out just the "<" in front of the name in the details summary:

File Name: test2.x3d
Original Bounds:
In: 1 w x 0.3 d x 1 h
Cm: 2.54 w x 0.762 d x 2.54 h Oriented Bounds:
In: 0.995 w x 0.3 d x 0.995 h
Cm: 2.528 w x 0.762 d x 2.528 h
Volume: 1.1443cm3
Density: 23.50%

I then changed the name to "lessthantest2" to show that the model name can actually be changed in this situation.

So the primary problem appears to be including an improper character when changing the model name within the shapeways editor. Although I haven't checked all potentially bad characters or their permutations...

 
   
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