Hi Douglas,

Thanks for your message. Having hit the 255 chars limit myself before, I realize how annoying it may be. I also thank you for your monetary offer.

As it is, Create Synchronicity doesn't actually enforce a specific limit on path lengths; instead, it merely calls system functions to perform copies and retrieve information on files. Errors occur when paths are over 255 chars because Windows itself does not allow such long paths.

This rules can be bypassed using special path syntax in system calls, but this disables a wide range of security checks and sanitization functions that run otherwise on paths passed to the API; furthermore, it creates files hardly readable by windows: Windows Explorer cannot open, copy or move files which path exceeds 255 characters, and various applications that rely on the .Net framework and other frameworks cannot recognize or use them. The risk is appreciable, given the core purpose of Create Synchronicity, namely to create safe backups.

I cannot, therefore, lift the 255 chars limitation; doing so without notifying users would create a false sense of security, where problems exist in the user's file system. I realize that other backup software bypass this limitation, thereby requiring the user to use the same application to restore their files in case of a hard drive failure: since files are not directly usable by Windows explorer, and many other programs, relying on the same app that made the backup becomes a requirement; for this reason I will not implement such a bypass in Create Synchronicity.

I suggest checking whether Create Synchronicity is failing because your paths are already too long, or because the paths of the backed-up files would be too long; in the former case, I urge you to analyse which paths on your network exceed 255 chars, and try to rename or move these files, though Windows explorer may not be able to manipulate them; Cygwin might help if this happens.

See the FAQ at http://synchronicity.sourceforge.net/faq.html#path-too-long for more information on this problem. I'm closing this tracker item, but not the associated comments thread.

I hope you find this answer satisfying; if you want to support Create Synchronicity, donations are heartily accepted on http://synchronicity.sourceforge.net/contribute.html .

Regards, and thanks for using Create Synchronicity,