When working with the Windows.Storage.AccessCache.StorageApplicationPermissions.FutureAccessList, it’s important to know that it has a 1000 file limit. This has presented a challenge to some developers working with libraries that contain many more files than that, when they try to save every file in the library in this list. Of course, the problem is solved easily by saving the parent StorageFolder in the list instead, which will then include all those files. Sometimes, however, you might want to save a handful of files directly for performance reasons–files that you know you’re going to want, so you don’t have to go through the folders each time.

I’ll mention in this context that I’ve seen discussions about this sort of thing where developers talk about file paths and so forth. When working with files and folders in WinRT, always remember that the StorageFile and StorageFolder objects (and their shared StorageItem base class) are abstractions for path names and should be what you use whenever you think about path names. The key reason for this is that file-like entities can be backed by non-local providers such that the concept of a “pathname’ doesn’t even exist. The StorageFile/Folder/Item abstractions let the provider worry about the mapping details. For the consuming app, then, you use the FutureAccessList to do the equivalent of saving pathname strings in some other local storage. (The same goes for the recently used list that exists alongside FutureAccessList.)

Equally interesting is the question of what happens if files are moved on the file system between when you save a StorageFile to the FutureAccessList and when you later retrieve it. Generally speaking, Windows does its best to track changes to the file system and update the FutureAccessList accordingly, so the bottom line is that you should not worry about it. Of course, if you attempt to open a file obtained from the FutureAccessList, it can fail for any number of reasons, including the file having been moved without the system being able to track it. You have to handle all such exceptions anyway, so an orphaned file is just one in the mix.

 


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