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soundsgoodtome

mac Why must you add ugly underscores (_) to our document titles?

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I don't understand the obsession with using underscores — especially when there's absolutely no reason for using them. What do people have against spaces? There's no prohibition on the use of spaces in the titles of files. So, why must Skitch remove the spaces from our document titles and replace them with underscores?? It. Makes. No. Sense.

 

Now, before you ask, "What difference does it make?," I'll show you:

 

I used Skitch to mark up a screenshot entitled "2 - Correct & incorrect artwork are adjacent."

After markup, Skitch exported a document entitled "2_-_Correct___incorrect_artwork_are_adjacent."

 

So, what are the problems?

 

1. Skitch's renaming makes file names unreadable in icon view.

Here's a screenshot of both my original file and the Skitch-exported file on my desktop:

 

kQmFBYS.png

 

The file name is no longer readable for one reason only: Because Skitch replaces spaces with underscores.

 

2. I named my file as I need it to be named. So, after using Skitch, I then have to rename every file I export. 

I can understand appending a numerical suffix to differentiate the versions. But what is the logic behind removing all spaces from our files? With the exception of a suffix, what's the logic behind changing the user's file names at all? I've used hundreds of applications, and I've never seen anything like this, anywhere.

 

3. Underscores are ugly.

 

Please, please stop Skitch from unnecessarily renaming our files. There's no logical reason for this behavior. Please fix this.  :-)

 

 

 

(EDIT 1: It seems the imgur link wasn't working, so I've replaced it with one that should.)

 

(EDIT 2: Not sure what's going on. When I paste the link into Safari, it works perfectly. But when I click it, here in the thread, I get a 404.)

 

(EDIT 3: Still trying to find an imgur link that works in this forum. They all work fine in browsers, but not here.)

 

 

NOTE: I wanted to attach the small image directly to this post, but because the image quota is something insane like 150k per user. Having uploaded only 2 or 3 attachments in the past several years, I'm left with a 3k (yes, 3k) image allotment. Moderators, can't this be modernized?)

Edited by soundsgoodtome
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Some Operating Systems have problems with spaces in file titles. Changing them to underscores ensures compatibility across systems.

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Some Operating Systems have problems with spaces in file titles. Changing them to underscores ensures compatibility across systems.

 

That's archaic and instances are rare. Regardless, no other application I've ever used changes the name of a user's file. What if you opened a document in Pages or Word or Keynote or PowerPoint (etc., etc., etc.), and your file names were arbitrarily changed? It doesn't happen.

 

We don't need this micromanaged for us "in case" we send a document to someone using one of those operating systems. Users who need to deal with that should deal with it, as needed. There's no reason for every, single document to be modified in a way that the user didn't request. 

 

At the very least, there should be a preference to enable or disable this ridiculous behavior.

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That's archaic and instances are rare.

 

Not really. Most web servers (not sure about windows) are in that boat.

 

 

 

Regardless, no other application I've ever used changes the name of a user's file.

 

 

Google Drive does it when you download a file.

 

 

 

We don't need this micromanaged for us

 

Who is "we"? I'd rather be sure a file can be opened in any environment than look at an aesthetically pleasing file name. Especially when sending it out to other people.

 

 

 

At the very least, there should be a preference to enable or disable this ridiculous behavior.

 

While I am not opposed to making it optional (I don't care either way), it is far from ridiculos.

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@soundsgoodtome - We substitute underscores for spaces because we support FTP/SFTP file upload, which excludes spaces. We also substitute underscores for many non-alphanumeric characters because we had several reported user issues. 

I agree that underscores are ugly, but they make the file name the most compatible it can be. I also agree that a preference would be the ideal solution. We just really don't have enough users asking for that feature.

Lester

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@soundsgoodtome - We substitute underscores for spaces because we support FTP/SFTP file upload, which excludes spaces. We also substitute underscores for many non-alphanumeric characters because we had several reported user issues. 

I agree that underscores are ugly, but they make the file name the most compatible it can be. I also agree that a preference would be the ideal solution. We just really don't have enough users asking for that feature.

Lester

 

Thanks for the candid reply.

 

Regarding a possible preference, the "hard" work -- the code that actually renames the files -- is already done. How difficult can it be to add a preference (a checkbox to untick) that instructs the app to simply bypass that bit of code?  :)

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@soundsgoodtome - I agree, it's a good feature request. We'll consider it the next time we look at doing a feature release. Lester

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@soundsgoodtome - I agree, it's a good feature request. We'll consider it the next time we look at doing a feature release. Lester

 

Thank you.  :)

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After a very brief trial with Skitch 2, I reverted to Skitch 1 for its cleaner user interface and superior user experience.  I'm back on Skitch 2.7.6 for one reason: Retina support on my new iMac.

 

I was doing OK adjusting to Skitch 2 until I encountered spaces_becoming_underscores_in_file_names when I drag a screenshot into Finder.  I applaud soundsgoodtome's eloquent essay on why this hardwired_underscore_behavior is wrong, Wrong, WRONG.  It may be enough to drive me back to Skitch 1.0.12.

 

Idekay wrote "We just really don't have enough users asking for that feature."

 

I'm posting this rant to show there are others who care.

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After a very brief trial with Skitch 2, I reverted to Skitch 1 for its cleaner user interface and superior user experience.  I'm back on Skitch 2.7.6 for one reason: Retina support on my new iMac.

 

I was doing OK adjusting to Skitch 2 until I encountered spaces_becoming_underscores_in_file_names when I drag a screenshot into Finder.  I applaud soundsgoodtome's eloquent essay on why this hardwired_underscore_behavior is wrong, Wrong, WRONG.  It may be enough to drive me back to Skitch 1.0.12.

 

Idekay wrote "We just really don't have enough users asking for that feature."

 

I'm posting this rant to show there are others who care.

 

Thanks, Ward. Your ping gave me the opportunity to finally find a proper link to my screenshot.

 

(I also find it interesting that this was referred to as a "feature request," rather than characterizing it as improper app behavior that should be rectified, because it never should have been implemented in the first place.)

 

Sadly, there's a growing groundswell of this -- the unnecessary replacing spaces with underscores -- all over the internet. And I suspect the average, non-geeky person assumes underscores are necessary for some unknown reason (or it doesn't bother them in the grand scheme of things), so they just accept it without questioning it. And the more they see it, the more they get used to it, and the less likely they'll be to care.

 

The same has happened -- all over the internet -- with the unnecessary use of apostrophes to form plurals. Instead of "We visited 3 zoos," people are writing "We visited 3 zoo's." Or "I have 1000 CD's," instead of "I have 1000 CDs." The apostrophes are 100% wrong in every single case, but the more people see them used, the more they imitate what they've seen, thinking it's correct. Until it becomes a Lost Cause.™ 

 

Same with underscores. They're almost never needed, but people -- and developers -- believe they're necessary, so they're becoming more and more prevalent, and most users aren't bothered enough to say anything. <sigh>

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As always, they promise to improve Skitch with the changes required by users........ but then ignore them regularly :((

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Still struggling with (and hating) this. An entire year later, and not one iota of change.

 

Here's another before-and-after shot. I start with an elegantly named file on the desktop, but after annotating it in Skitch, the name is a hideous mess — all because Skitch adds characters to the file name that are 100% unnecessary. No other app changes users' files' names in this way. NOT. ONE.

 

Why do you not care about this, Evernote? Seriously. 

 

Skitch_zpsdhhpbusb.png

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Another vote for allowing a separator option. Only needs a spot in the Preference pane.

You can even default to Underscore, just allow others to change it to Space.

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I just discovered an inconsistency in Skitch's passion for replacing spaces with underscores:

When I saved a screenshot using a duplicate name, I choose to keep both the original and new images.  Skitch handled this by adding a numeric suffix to the new image's file name: a space + "2".

So my new file's name has all of my spaces replaced with underscores, but Skitch's space is honored:

Growl_Notification_Rollup_-_IP_Address 2.png

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Unbelievable. That's precisely what SHOULD happen with EVERY file we modify in Skitch: a simple suffix should be added to the title.

Now you've proven that the code for doing so actually already exists within the app! Yet, despite our complaints, no one at Evernote has bothered to modify Skitch's behavior — even though the code for the "correct" behavior is already present within the app.

Words truly fail. (And so does Evernote, as a company.)

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The lack of a change in Skitch's behavior for more than a year prompted me to open a formal support ticket using the Get Support link on the Evernote Contact us page:  https://evernote.com/contact/?var=2

Perhaps we can get the attention of the Skitch developers with a stream of formal bug reports.

Here's what I wrote:

Subject:  Why must you add ugly underscores (_) to our Skitch image titles?

On October 21, 2014, Guru-class user soundsgoodtome opened a discussion of this topic with an eloquent description of Skitch's wrongheaded replacement of spaces with underscores:

https://discussion.evernote.com/topic/71310-why-must-you-add-ugly-underscores-_-to-our-document-titles/

Since then, many other users (including me) have expressed dismay with this longstanding Skitch bug.  Please fix it.

– Ward

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After posting my note about a formal support ticket, I realized I could use a Hazel folder action to automatically change Skitch's underscores to spaces:

  1. Create a single-step Automator workflow named "Rename File - replace Underscores with Spaces.workflow" – see the attached zip file.
  2. Create a "bug shots" folder for saving Skitch screenshots.
  3. Apply a single-step Hazel action to the "bug shots" folder – see the attached screenshot (renamed by Hazel).

This technique is not a complete solution to Skitch's renaming behavior because characters other than spaces get converted to underscores, e.g., special characters like periods. (Note: colons must be stripped or converted because OS X doesn't allow a colon in a file name.)

I suspect this automated renaming technique could be achieved with a Finder folder action and an AppleScript.

– Ward

Rename File - replace Underscores with Spaces.workflow.zip

Hazel folder action.png

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I am an interaction designer by profession and agree with the original poster.

I don't know your userbase and design goals, but already for many years now I see the overall benefits to rather default to "keep file names as-is" and not to "auto correct filenames for maximum compatibility across systems and servers".

If you have your very good reasons for auto-renaming, could you at least offer a preference "[√] Auto correct filenames for maximum compatibility across systems and servers" and set it to checked by default, or if you don't even want this, at least allow power users to change this via config file or OS X's defaults command line app or Windows' registry?

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A year and a half has passed since @soundsgoodtome opened this discussion.  The sole Evernote participant (@Idekay) appears to have left the company more than a year ago.  So our only hope of getting this annoying BUG fixed is a flood of formal support tickets using the Get Support link on the Evernote Contact us page:

https://evernote.com/contact/

See my earlier post for a sample bug report you can copy and paste into your new support ticket.

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Sadly, I've just stopped using Skitch, all together.

I now use (Apple) Mail.app's built-in mark-up feature, which does almost everything that skitch does. The only missing feature (that I've noticed) is pixelation, which I need only rarely. It would be nice to be able to use Skitch's archiving features and Evernote integration, but c'est la vie. I refuse to use a "productivity" app that actually creates more work for me.

The Evernote team's apathy toward user's reasonable requests (not just regarding this issue, but regarding many Evernote issues, as reported throughout the forum) is simply dumbfounding. And Ward's discovery of the inconsistent behavior with spaces—which has yet to elicit even an acknowledgement from the developer, let alone a fix—underscores this point even further.

I used to enjoy using Evernote.app. Now I just tolerate it. Now it's just WhateverNote.

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Hey all. Sorry that Evernote didn't care enough to listen to your feedback. Yes, I left the company in January of 2015 when they laid off most of what was left of the Skitch team. Just so you know, we (the engineering team) cared about the product and wanted to make things right for all of you, but, you know, as always, management gets to decide what to do. The manner in which Skitch was added to the Evernote family, and it's rapid demise thereafter, is a sad story indeed.

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15 minutes ago, ldekay said:

Hey all. Sorry that Evernote didn't care enough to listen to your feedback. Yes, I left the company in January of 2015 when they laid off most of what was left of the Skitch team. Just so you know, we (the engineering team) cared about the product and wanted to make things right for all of you, but, you know, as always, management gets to decide what to do. The manner in which Skitch was added to the Evernote family, and it's rapid demise thereafter, is a sad story indeed.

Thanks for letting us know, and best of luck to you in your new endeavors.  :-)

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