From: Beman Dawes (bdawes_at_[hidden])
Date: 2003-04-20 08:51:20
At 08:22 AM 4/9/2003, Christian Engström wrote:
>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.
I think that your need is both valid and commonplace, but that the way to
handle it isn't necessarily to modify the filesystem library.
Rather, think about using a filter iterator. See
There are a couple of caveats: (1) I haven't actually tried it, so don't
know if it is a practical solution, and (2) Dave, Jeremy, and Thomas are
working on a major update to iterator adaptors so details may change once
they are done.
If you try this approach, please post something letting us know if the
approach worked for you.
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