Moving a feed duplicates it to other (sub)folders with the same name

Say I have the following folder structure:

  • @Daily
    – Category1
    — Slashdot
  • @Weekly
    — TechCrunch

Now I try to move another feed, say Hacker News, to @Daily/Category1 using “Move to Folder” from the feed’s popup menu. I end up with the feed in *both* categories, even after refreshing the page. This only happens with the popup menu, not when using drag-and-drop.

Furthermore, if I try to delete the duplicated feed from @Weekly/Category1, it appears to have worked, but then if I refresh the page, it’s been deleted from @Daily/Category1, but still appears in @Weekly/Category1 – the opposite of what I told the UI to do.

I know, I know, I should use the Intelligence Trainer instead of using subfolders this way…but I’m sure there are more legitimate uses for identically-named subfolders.


So this only happens with the folder chooser and not on drag-and-drop? I can probably fix that pretty easily.

Oh wait, same folder name. Doh. Yeah, this has been a known limitation for a while now. It sucks, since it would be so nice to have duplicate folder names in different parent folders, but the reality is that supporting this is a world of pain and extra code.

It’s just enough of an edge case for me to have shelved it for this long. In the long-term, I’d love to support duplicate folder names, but the time being, you’ll just have to change or add a letter/number to the folder name to make it unique.

You can see why this is an issue. I already added support for checking the folder name, but if I had a better model management system that worked on both the front-end and back-end, I could just use a folder id. But there is no folder id – a folder is just a name, so I have to deal with this identity crisis for folders.

If I pass in the parent folder name, then I’ve probably further reduced the problem by another 99%, but then you wouldn’t be able to have duplicate parent-child combinations.

Anyway, if enough people holler, I’ll get this fixed once and for all. But it’s a ton of work for a specific edge case that has a reasonable work around (this is unfortunately not obvious.) I will say that you should at the very least be happy that I didn’t restrict the UI to check for all unique folder names, since then you’d get an error when you tried to create a folder with the same name. Drag-and-drop remains unaffected.

I just ran into this folder name problem. My workaround is to name each folder with its full pathname like so:

  • @Daily
    @Daily - Category1
  • @Weekly
    @Weekly - Category1

(My first rule of database design: Every object is identified by a field which is *not* visible or meaningful to the user - because if they can see it they’ll want to change it or make it the same as another one.)