Maildir: Allow not to have colons in data filenames
This issue is evolution#1225 (closed), relocated from evolution to evolution-data-server.
Summary: Please add an option (i.e. in a config file) so that Evolution's user data will not use "colon" characters in filenames, to enable compatibility with NTFS (for the purposes of backup, compatibility on dual-boot systems, etc). Ideally it would be a global option for simplicity/consistency, but if impractical, then per-account would be fine as well - as long as there's ultimately some way to ensure that there aren't any non-NTFS-compatible characters within Evolution's data :)
I've found that some filenames in Evolution's data contain a colon. For example, $HOME/.local/share/evolution/mail/local/(some imap folder)/cur contains files named like "1598387499.25510_0.COMPUTER_NAME:2,ST". Similarly, $HOME/.config/evolution/mail/folders contains files named like "et-expanded-folder:__local_Inbox".
The problem: colons are an invalid character on NTFS filesystems, and although Evolution is a Linux mail client, there are a number of scenarios where this causes problems. For example:
- If you have an external USB hard drive that's shared between Windows & Linux, it's common to use NTFS - but because of the colons, you cannot copy/backup Evolution data to it.
- If you have a backup server (i.e. NAS) running a Windows OS, you will not be able to backup your files to it (& therefore cannot backup your home directory)
- Windows software running in WINE won't be able to deal with it
- On a dual boot machine, a common layout is to have an NTFS partition shared between both OSs. This is my scenario: to keep all of my important data centralized, I use symlinks to point particular subfolders in C:\Users\username (Win) & $HOME (Linux) to one "AppData" folder on a shared partition. This has worked for every application I use on both Windows & Linux, and allows everything to be kept in one place. Evolution is the only exception, just because its filenames have colons, and thus it cannot be stored on NTFS.
Having the ability to use an alternative character that could be compatible with both filesystems would allow more flexibility for backups, etc.