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Re: Weird discrimination of folder names in Dropbox

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Weird discrimination of folder names in Dropbox

Helpful | Level 5
In my Dropbox, why cannot I create a folder named 👨‍👦 or 🕋? (Also, I cannot rename an existing folder this way.) I was going to use the first name for the folder created for sharing files with my father, and the second name, for the folder with my research papers on Islamic sanctuaries. I can safely create these folders on my PC, but if I move them to Dropbox folder, they don’t sync.
 
In this situation, I see signs of discrimination by family status and religion. For example, Dropbox lets me create folders named ✝️ or ⚡, though I don’t need them. I think the lawyers should worry about possible legal abuse by this naming discrimination.
1 Accepted Solution

Accepted Solutions
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Re: Weird discrimination of folder names in Dropbox

Dropboxer
Dropboxer

Hey all,

Just wanted to follow up on with more context to what Walter and Jay posted.

The problem here is related to UTF encoding. The "Kaaba" emoji (along with many other, newer emoji) uses 4 bytes, which our filesystem doesn't support. The emoji that do work on Dropbox.com are those that use less than 4 bytes.

We support using emoji that fall in the Basic Multilingual Plance in file and folder names on the website (although these probably won't sync to your desktop computer due to not playing nice with local filesystems). Emoji that fall into the Supplementary Multilingual Plane won't work with our underlying filesystem - newer emoji fall into this category and are not expected to sync with Dropbox.

I hope this helps to give some extra context on why some emoji can be used and not others - they're not being blocked intentionally and this is purely caused by technical limitations.

Thanks!

Frank

View solution in original post

10 Replies 10
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Re: Weird discrimination of folder names in Dropbox

New Super User
New Super User

Hey @_-_,

 

I am trying to reproduce this, but are you trying to use Emojis for your folder names? Can you put one of your folder names in here for me to try and recreate? Put the folder name in quotes for me Thanks!

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Re: Weird discrimination of folder names in Dropbox

Dropboxer
Dropboxer

Hey there @_-_ - I hope my message finds you well.

I wanted to thank you for this feedback as we don't have a strong support for emojis in place yet; and as we are always looking for user input when creating the next version of the Dropbox app, I made sure to pass your comments along to our engineering team.

I know it's not much, yet I hope this helps to some extent. 

If there's anything else I can do for you, please let me know.

PS: You can always use our look up tool to see if your files contain incompatible characters by clicking on this link.  



Walter
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support


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Re: Weird discrimination of folder names in Dropbox

Helpful | Level 5
Yes, @atccodex, I am trying to use emojis for my folder names, and some emojis are OK, but other aren’t permitted by Dropbox. Just for demonstration, I have created a folder named ✝️, and put another folder named ☠ inside it, and a file named ⚰️.txt inside it; all these folders and files were created and synced successfully, see the demo: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/gt97pgtg57qmuht/AABmbrr07mxB6coobp0iodOja?dl=0
 
But when I try to use some other emojis, like those mentioned in my first post, Dropbox forbids me to do this.
 
As you have requested, here are the folder names in quotes: "✝️", "☠", "⚡" (these are OK), "👨‍👦", "🕋" (these are discriminated by Dropbox).
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Re: Weird discrimination of folder names in Dropbox

New Super User
New Super User

Hey @_-_

As @Walter mentioned, there are some unsupported characters. My guess is that the : in your filename isn't supported. Maybe it works with some and not others, but I doubt it is intentional.

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Re: Weird discrimination of folder names in Dropbox

Helpful | Level 5
Yes, @atccodex, I understand that some characters are supported and some others aren’t. But the question is: why aren’t they supported and whether this segregation is legal?
 
Suppose you go shopping, but the security doesn’t let you in saying, “Sorry, but in our supermarket, the buyers of your color aren’t supported”. I think the case is very similar, and I wonder why Dropbox wasn’t sued so far for the discrimination. (I am not a lawyer, and I live in another country, so unfortunately I am not able to act as a complainant.)
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Re: Weird discrimination of folder names in Dropbox

Dropboxer
Dropboxer

Hi @_-_, this is more to do with the version of Unicode used.

For instance, the generic praying hands emoji, 🙏, common to many religions, cannot upload or sync to the site. The Christmas tree, associated with Christianity, 🎄, can’t sync either.

However, the star and crescent, ☪️, can sync normally.

The ✝️ and ☪️ both use Unicode 1.1, which was approved in 1993. The 🙏 and 🎄 is Unicode 6.0 approved in 2010.

👨‍👦is not even Unicode and is part of the Emoji 4.0, released in 2016. Lastly 🕋 is Unicode 8.0 and released in 2015.

As my colleague mentioned earlier, emoji support isn’t fully rolled out, as it appears that newer Unicode and Emoji versions (without Unicode) aren’t supported. While I’m not in the team that deals with this, my research with the above emojis leads me to this conclusion.

I hope this helps to clarify matters. I’ll pass your comments to our team to see if full Unicode/Emoji support can be rolled out.


Jay
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support


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Re: Weird discrimination of folder names in Dropbox

Dropboxer
Dropboxer

Hey all,

Just wanted to follow up on with more context to what Walter and Jay posted.

The problem here is related to UTF encoding. The "Kaaba" emoji (along with many other, newer emoji) uses 4 bytes, which our filesystem doesn't support. The emoji that do work on Dropbox.com are those that use less than 4 bytes.

We support using emoji that fall in the Basic Multilingual Plance in file and folder names on the website (although these probably won't sync to your desktop computer due to not playing nice with local filesystems). Emoji that fall into the Supplementary Multilingual Plane won't work with our underlying filesystem - newer emoji fall into this category and are not expected to sync with Dropbox.

I hope this helps to give some extra context on why some emoji can be used and not others - they're not being blocked intentionally and this is purely caused by technical limitations.

Thanks!

Frank

View solution in original post

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Re: Weird discrimination of folder names in Dropbox

Helpful | Level 5

Thank you @Frank_S for your explanation. But the discrimination is still here, and now it is discrimination by falling into one or another Unicode plane. How soon does Dropbox team plan to fix this inequality?

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Re: Weird discrimination of folder names in Dropbox

Helpful | Level 5

Well @Frank_S, if you prefer to hold on technical topics, let me reshape my question in this manner.

The Unicode Standard contains 1,114,112 code points. In Unicode 11.0, the latest version at the moment of this writing, only 137,374 of these code points are mapped to characters. But nothing in current filesystems, operating systems, or applications prevents the use of any of these 1,114,112 code points in files’ and folders’ names (except for a few special characters like / or \). This applies not only to every single emoji that is included in the Unicode or will be included anytime in the future, but to any current or future Unicode character as well.

On Windows PC, or on a Mac, or on any other modern device allowing for creating files and folders, you can include not only emoji in their names, but any code points at all. For instance, you can name a file with two “characters” U+AFF81 and U+10FFE4. Although there are no real characters assigned to these code points yet, the file will still be stored in the filesystem perfectly, and its name will be displayed with placeholders or spaces like "򯾁􏿤". (Look, I have pasted the non-existent characters directly into this message, and nothing was broken.)

You can safely copy the file with this name from PC to Mac and vice versa, attach it to an email, send it with an IM, and upload it to Google Drive or virtually any other file storage service… except for Dropbox. If this doesn’t seem weird to you, then I don’t know what is weird.

What kind of the “underlying filesystem” do you have if it doesn't accept filenames that every other software handles smoothly? Is Dropbox based on MS-DOS, or maybe on OS/2? Or are you using one of Zuse’s relay computers taken from Germany after World War II?

This thread is about discrimination, and now I can define more precisely what kind of discrimination is it. The Dropbox team discriminates the technological progress and the common sense by producing software with weird technical limitations not keeping up with the rest of the world.

So my question stays the same: how soon do you plan to fix this disgrace?

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