Your data submission contains illegal characters

Slap.

The project name contains illegal characters

From Shutterfly.

I had just typed the name of a project to save in a text field and pressed the “save” button. There were no mention of any characters I couldn’t use. But, it was clear (only because I’ve seen programmers make stupid choices like this in the past), that the apostrophe I had used in the project name wasn’t allowed.

Don’t subject users to silly restrictions like this. What kind of architecture/design doesn’t allow apostrophes to be used in the name of something like this? I realize file systems have some interesting restrictions — but if this isn’t being stored in a database … then, yikes, what are they doing? If I had not already invested a lot of time uploading photos, selecting photos, etc., I would have abandoned them entirely and moved on to their competitors (with what amounts to be the world’s most unreliable uploader from what I could tell — I had to try to upload some photos 6 or 7 times before it was successful!!!!!),

(Just so happens that I was signed up as a new user and had a whole bunch of free prints from Amazon — so I couldn’t complain about the price. However, I’ll not return to them.)

I hope the prints turn out better than their web site design and implementation.

2 Comments

  1. Perhaps they’re not storing the images in the database but as an actual file and is just saving the file pathname in the database. I’ve heard pros/cons of storing large objects such as pictures vs. storing them on the file system to it to keep the database small and fast.

    However, I guess they could’ve just stored the filename you want in the database, and generate a GUID or something for the actual filename — if they’re saving it outside of the database.

  2. I definitely wouldn’t store photos in a database, instead I’d store them in a file system. But as you suggested, they could easily rename the incoming files and store the new file name only in the database.

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