Google Chrome is failing to save files directly to network attached storage (NAS) and cloud backup drives, multiple reports have claimed.
An initial bug report in January 2023 reported that the 32-bit Windows version of Chrome 109 was hitting a “can’t open this file” error when trying to save files using a universal naming convention (UNC) path, with the error claiming that the issue is that the save destination folder “contains system files”.
However, in testing bug demo code from another report, The Register also ran into the issue while trying to open a Dropbox file on the Arm64 version of Chrome 109 running on macOS. It also noted that competing browsers, like Mozilla Firefox and the Chromium-based Microsoft Edge, were saving files to network locations fine.
Google’s Project Fugu, prepared incorrectly
The issue is rooted in the showOpenFilePicker() method in Google’s File System Access API, an effort to allow web apps to access local files and directories.
The API, introduced in its current form in 2019, comes as part of the tech giant’s Project Fugu, an initiative hoping to give web apps the same permissions as native platform apps in the wake of Apple’s own tendency to neuter its flagship browser, the Webkit-based Safari, which is often prone to security issues.
Alternate, privacy-focussed browsers have been available on Apple devices for some time, with the option to set a default other than Safari coming in September 2020 as part of iOS 14.
As a result, Project Fugu’s separate sound like a great way to open up an Apple device in the face of Apple’s tight grip on the applications it wants users to run, even in the face of consternation from the European Union.
The Register is reporting that Google has bumped fixing the issue to a priority as part of the release of the stable version of Chrome 110 on the last day of January 2023, quoting an engineer from the company as stating “blocking UNC paths broke a number of legitimate use cases.”
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