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Fix 260 character file name length limitation

The 260 character limit on file paths really gets in the way of having a deeply-nested project hierarchy. It's only there as backwards compatibility with the old school APIs, and has no place in any sort of modern development environment.

We should be able to work with file paths of whatever size we want.

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    Steve LeighSteve Leigh shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    Hello everyone and thank you for the feedback and for voting on this issue. We understand that this can be a frustrating issue, however, fixing it requires a large and complicated architectural change across different products and features including Visual Studio, TFS, MSBuild and the .NET Framework. Dedicating resources to this work item would come at the expense of many other features and innovation. Additionally, if we removed this limitation from our first party tools it will still likely exist elsewhere in Visual Studio’s ecosystem of extensions and tools. For these reasons, we are declining this suggestion and returning return everyone’s votes so they can be applied to other items. In the interest of delivering the most value to our customers we sometimes have to make very difficult cuts, and this is one of them.

    Thank you,

    Will Buik,
    Visual Studio – Project and Build Team

    235 comments

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      • mrphilbert1mrphilbert1 commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I have been working on node almost exclusively on Linux because of this limitation.Tried again with V.S. 2015 and ran into it immediately.
        I live on the other side of the lake (Sammamish) from Microsoft and have been working in Linux more and more. I really like Windows but constantly running into these types of issues and Microsofts refusal to fix them is driving me away. I do have to commend them for their contributions to open source along with Google. It also amazes me to see open source people bash Microsoft for being the "Borg" and then haul out a Mac (hypocrisy at its worst).

      • William BosackerWilliam Bosacker commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @George Mauer: Actually, this and the alternate request, are a good starting point. This issue has plagued us for over 12 years, and while some people have come up with work-arounds that work for them, no current work-around works for everyone. The fact that the .NET Framework Core is now open source does not mean that just anyone can contribute, as Microsoft is still the gatekeeper for all code check-ins. However; it is probably a HUGE factor as to why they have kept my Connect ticket alive:

        https://connect.microsoft.com/VisualStudio/feedbackdetail/view/932051/long-filepaths-260-characters-are-not-supported

        If you want to truly get this fixed, please vote at the link above.

      • George MauerGeorge Mauer commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I'm on this thread so I obviously complained about this too at one point but I want to express both a partial workaround (that doesn't require remapping drives) and some of the reasoning why this might not be the appropriate board to complain about this issue.

        First the workaround - at least with regards to deleting long paths. Since nodejs can create long paths (by using the unicode API) it can also delete them. Install the rimraf utility globally and you can use it to delete deep directory trees.

        npm install -g rimraf
        rimraf node_modules

        Now as to what is going on. The Windows team has explained in various locations (http://blogs.msdn.com/b/bclteam/archive/2007/02/13/long-paths-in-net-part-1-of-3-kim-hamilton.aspx) but the gist is that the old Windows API which contains code for things like resolving relative paths is hard coded to this limit and removing it would break many old-school third party dependencies over which Microsoft has no control.

        You can bypass the limit however by using the unicode API but then you're stuck re-implementing all the functionality yourself, thus forking it and introducing inconsistencies. In all fairness, Visual Studio is not the appropriate location to do this.

        Now I would argue that the .Net file APIs *are absolutely* the appropriate location for this. That would solve a large chunk of Visual Studio's issues as well as Powershell and any application that uses .Net.

        And looky look, .Net core is becoming open source....

      • AnonymousAnonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Seems like pure laziness to just decline the request. Pretty easy problem to solve!

      • Simple WorkaroundSimple Workaround commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        SIMPLE WORKAROUND
        Every time I encounter this problem I create a directory junction with a short path and reopen the project from there.
        It would be great if VS had created the junction from behind the scenes, maybe prompting a window to the users if it might affect them in any way.

      • Martin SMartin S commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Please prioritize this problem - that's it's hard and requires resources is not an excuse. I'm hitting this limitation daily as a professional developer. It's making developing on windows a pain. I'd never develop on windows unless I had legacy code to deal with, mostly due to this single issue, that's a shame ;(

      • Luis PalaciosLuis Palacios commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        What's the point on embracing the open source world if we are not able to use node js happily in vs?
        I am disappointed.

      • _Matthias__Matthias_ commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        It is not possible to use WebDav properly due to this limitation.
        Folders and files that exceed the 260 characters filepath limitation fail to show up. Like they wouldnt exist.

        The potential workaround to use the backup Windows API (like \\) does NOT work over WebDav!

        This is an essiantial issue that should be fixed.

        Currently the only workaround that exists to use WebDav with longer filepaths than 260 chars is to use a linux client.
        Linux has a path limitation of 4096. So you can use linux to export files over webdav. After that you could burn a DVD (with that exported data) with UDF Format that supports long file paths as well. In the end you could use that dvd on Windows.

      • Ben CollinsBen Collins commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Seriously Will, this is a stupid limitation to allow to persist. It simply has to be fixed. It would be worth completely canning the Windows Phone division entirely if that's what it took to fix this.

      • John Fly (BoxOfNotGoodery)John Fly (BoxOfNotGoodery) commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        With the recent push to "allow" cross platform development, and npm to VS 2015+ this is going to get really bad really quick. Most of the web projects I have tried to work on in VS2015 hit this issue immediately.

        GitHub + Linux is not the solution you want to force people into, but it's looking more and more like the one we will have to use.

      • AnishAnish commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Nodejs is basically unusable on windows and you certainly can't deploy a nodejs app to azure, unless its an express "hello world" app.

        Why don't you reallocate the resources being used on the nodejs tools for visual studio? How about reallocating resources working on anything nodejs related for azure?

        What's the point of having nodejs tools in visual studio or supporting nodejs on azure if you cant use nodejs or deploy a nodejs app to azure?

        How is 260 characters an appropriate limit for a file name in this day and age?

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