Generating a semi-random, but legal, filename

Hi everyone,

I thought this would be a fun brain teaser. In short, I need a way to
generate a semi-random file name based on a template on MS Windows.
The motivation, in case you’re wondering, is that I’m implementing a
pure Ruby version of the mkstemp() function, which MS Windows does not
support.

The rules:

1 - The template itself must be a legal MS Windows file name
2 - The template must end with at least six ‘X’ characters. Raise an
error otherwise.
3 - All ‘X’ characters should be replaced with a (semi) random
character
4 - All replaced characters must be legal filename characters on MS
Windows

For example, my_template_XXXXXX would become my_template_T$#z%Ya

What’s a legal filename on Windows? To keep it simple, we’ll just
worry about these three rules:

  • The following characters are illegal: < > : " / \ | ? *
  • Characters whose integer representations are in the range from zero
    through 31 are not allowed.
  • Cannot end with a space

In case that first point is difficult to read on your browser, the
explicitly illegal characters are greater than, less than, colon,
forward slash, backslash, pipe, question mark and asterisk.

Good luck!

Dan

I thought this would be a fun brain teaser. In short, I need a way to
generate a semi-random file name based on a template on MS Windows.
The motivation, in case you’re wondering, is that I’m implementing a
pure Ruby version of the mkstemp() function, which MS Windows does not
support.

Aside, for those who aren’t aware, there is tempfile.rb in the Ruby
standard library which does something similar: i.e. create a random name
from a template, then open the file.

The names it generates aren’t really random, but AFAICT are guaranteed
to be unique. The documentation for mkstemp doesn’t make any claims to
randomness either though.

2008/9/17 Daniel B. [email protected]:

Hi everyone,

I thought this would be a fun brain teaser. In short, I need a way to
generate a semi-random file name based on a template on MS Windows.
The motivation, in case you’re wondering, is that I’m implementing a
pure Ruby version of the mkstemp() function, which MS Windows does not
support.

To be fair, MS Windows supports _mktemp() function.
mkstemp() can be defined as

def mkstemp(p)
require ‘Win32API’
_mktemp = Win32API.new(“msvcrt”, “_mktemp”, ‘P’, ‘P’)
File.open(_mktemp.call(‘my_template_XXXXXX’),File::CREAT|File::EXCL)
end

Regards,

Park H.

Actually, this might be a bit cleaner:

def randomFileNameSuffix (numberOfRandomchars)
s = “”
numberOfRandomchars.times { s << (65 + rand(26)) }
s
end

puts “foo_” + randomFileNameSuffix(7) + “.txt”

=> foo_OLNMGZZ.txt

Note: the 65 added is the numeric value of “A”. rand(26) gives 0…25.
So, we add that to a capital “A” to get the random letter.

It is rather simple but that is not always a defect.

Daniel B. wrote:

For example, my_template_XXXXXX would become my_template_T$#z%Ya

How about this:

def getRandLetter
65 + rand(26)
end

def randomFileNameSuffix (baseFileName, numberOfRandomchars)
numberOfRandomchars.times { baseFileName << getRandLetter }
baseFileName
end

fn = randomFileNameSuffix(“foo_”, 7)
puts fn

On Sep 17, 1:30 pm, Lloyd L. [email protected] wrote:

=> foo_OLNMGZZ.txt

Note: the 65 added is the numeric value of “A”. rand(26) gives 0…25.
So, we add that to a capital “A” to get the random letter.

It is rather simple but that is not always a defect.

Simple, effective. Looks good to me!

Regards,

Dan