Friday, September 30, 2005

CONned by windows

Link: Naming a file

Do not use the following reserved device names for the name of a file: CON, PRN, AUX, NUL, COM1, COM2, COM3, COM4, COM5, COM6, COM7, COM8, COM9, LPT1, LPT2, LPT3, LPT4, LPT5, LPT6, LPT7, LPT8, and LPT9. Also avoid these names followed by an extension, for example, NUL.tx7.

I was writing an auto code generator which was generating many Java files and one of the files to be generated was My generator generated every other file but when it came to it threw a FileNotFoundException. Which was very weird because I was trying to create a new file and so it not finding the file was in fact a good thing! To justify that it wasn't just a figment of my imagination I checked and confirmed that there was no such file. I rechecked and yet there was no such file. I cursed and ran the code generator again - this, my never failing trump card betrayed me as well.

Of course these days where everything else fails, Google doesn't. And sure enough it brought me to this page and it was clear that CON was one of the many reserved words and so I could not create a filed named so.

While I am ok with Windows not allowing me to create a file with a name which is a reserved word but not allowing files with a reserved word followed by an extension is all too limiting. And worse still the error messages when I try to create a file con.whatever vary from "access denied" to "file already exists" to "are you kidding me?" (no, not the last one but it came close).

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