Windoze 260 character limit?

Subject: Windoze 260 character limit?
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 12 Apr 2013 16:12:41 -0400

If you are producing webhelp, do you ever run up against a Windows 260 character filepath limit, on larger projects?

In the other direction, do you feel the need to warn customers that if they install your webhelp down a deep directory tree, they too will learn to enjoy cryptic error messages from Windoze?

I hadn't thought of it in a while, until we were nearing a big deadline and decided to hive off a component to our other techwriter. When we were done, the builds engineer packed up the Helps for the various main products, plus that component, and sucked them under a part-number-filename which then went two places - a DVD image for new-product purchasers, and a .tar ball for use by upgrading customers.

Then somebody remembered that upgrading customers might want just the individual Help for the product they owned, and not for the whole lineup. Fine. Those were broken out under separate part-number-names... and suddenly the other writer's contribution was breaking the archiving process due to the filespec character limit. We probably wouldn't have noticed if the builds guy hadn't elected to use a Windoze box instead of his usual Linux builds machine to do the job.

Flurry of revising file and folder names in Flare.
Re-build and re-publish of the other guy's Flare project.
Re-gen of the .tar......... success. Whew!

But it's still got some lengthy filespecs in there.
Some customer is gonna hit that limit, especially if they start at C:\Users\<username>\My Documents...

What do y'all do, when it comes to applying useful names to files and directories in a project, versus this ancient Windoze nastiness that seemingly won't go away?

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