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From: Christian Engström (christian.engstrom_at_[hidden])
Date: 2003-04-09 07:22:07

In my application I need to handle paths that contain wildcards, such as
for example "foo/chapter?.txt" or "bar/*/index.html".

I believe that the boost::filesystem::path class would be ideal for this
purpose, since it hides all the messy platform dependent stuff, and
provides a convenient interface (I am particularly impressed by the bold
use of the / operator) for manipulating the individual parts of the
path, which is something that I need to be able to do in order to
isolate the wildcard items and handle them in an appropriate manner.
As the class stands at the moment, however, I cannot do this, since the
generic format bans the use of the wildcard characters "*" and "?".

Does it really have to?

The rationale stated in the documentation is that they are disallowed
because you couldn't reasonably expect them to work as part of an actual
file name, at least not in a portable manner. While this is of course
true, it doesn't necessarily mean that the path class is responsible for
throwing them out, since the path class is explicitly documented as
providing no guarantee that the path is in fact valid on any particular

If I actually were to try to create a file with a name that contained
either of these characters, or, for that matter, a file name that was
illegal in some other way, it would be up to the fstream open function
to react to the problem, so it would not go undetected anyway.

Is this something that could be changed? I believe that it would be
technically trivial to do it (just remove the two characters from line
108 in path_posix_windows.cpp), so it is really more a question of
opinion than anything else.

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