BUG? Colon in app name now prevents compiling!

After a day of pulling my hair out wondering why all my apps no longer compile I found the bug.

I name all my apps like this to give me more information about the latest versions:

  • 2015-05-27 :: Garden Controller v0.1
  • 2015-04-13 :: NeoPixel2
  • …etc

If I remove the colons, they all compile fine. There is nothing in the IDE UI to indicate that certain special characters are off limits now, whereas a few months ago these were totally legal and functioned properly.

So, is this a new bug in the compiler or a bug in the UI documentation?


I guess this has something to do with the fact that a colon is an illegal file name character on pretty much any/every operating system. There are a couple of others, who might equally cause problems.
You can find an overview of some of the characters you’re not supposed to use over here. A hyphen, or an underscore make for a good, legal, separator, and are commonly used for this purpose.
Still, @jeiden might want to have a look at validation in the IDE.

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: is not illegal in any unix-like OS. So if this is the Web IDE, then I think the problem may be self-induced by the web-IDE code (perhaps it is being overprotective of cross-platform issues), if it is local development on Windoze, then you could well be right.

I think the expectation is reasonable that the IDE should take any legal project name and take steps to escape the string before it creates actual files on the host filesystem; or it should refuse to accept names that will not work (with appropriate help text.)

The principle of least astonishment should apply here, IMHO. I think this can rightly be classified as a low priority bug - luckily there’s a simple enough workaround, as @Moors7 points out.

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Hi @aylr,

Thanks for posting! The IDE prevents some characters from being used in the filenames, but it looks like colon is missing from the regex, I’ll open a ticket for it.


@Dave why is colon bad ? (cross platform compatibility ?)

Why not just escape bad characters instead of prohibiting them ?

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I agree with the above, however, the problem is that users like myself have used colons for a year now, and now we can’t. I don’t mind changing one bit, however it’s a very jarring for less flexible users.

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