Illegal Characters

Someone mentioned working on an issue where an instructor in Safari saw the error “Broken pipe” when uploading a PDF file to our CE/Vista 8.0.3 HF1 site. Of course, the issue couldn’t be replicated and light on the details. I asked for the details anyway to track down the failure intending to open a ticket with Blackboard on another bug. No such luck. The error was simple:

[File] cannot be saved because its name contains illegal characters

The file name follows this pattern: abcde”fg hijkm”.pdf

Removing the double quotes ought to sort out that issue. Simple. We’ve known for a long time CE/Vista doesn’t handle certain special characters very well. You know, remove data from fields which would cause an error before attempting to save it. Or even alert the user why something failed. “Sorry this file cannot be uploaded. Check this list for likely reasons.”

The client provided in the ticket this upsetting approach from research she found online.

Being that you are on a cluster, there is potential that it’s the load balancer, could be it’s not handling sessions properly and tossing sessions back and forth between nodes. — Blackboard Support File Management and Issues – Blackboard Vista Student Troubleshooting

I’m glad this one was something far more simple.