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Limit to the number of files that may be placed in an FTP directory
This splitting is completely automatic, works across the board, and all FTP clients handle it automatically (except command line tools of course: MSDOS shell and "ftp.exe").
The limit is imposed in order to prevent the case where simply logging in with a tool that performs automatic synchronisation, for example, instantly kills the FTP server by requesting an ls -lR (recursive directory listing of the entire site). If there are (really!) a lot of files and subdirectories, the act of doing a complete scan may hog the entire FTP server for some time. To avoid this, FTP servers force clients to split their requests into smaller pieces (relatively speaking!).
Why do clients request a complete scan of everything instead of simply displaying the root, then a breakdown of a directory when you click on it, and only at that moment? Because tools that perform automatic backups or synchronisation (such as Cobian, for example) often display the number of files to be transferred or the total size, or even an estimate of the amount of time that will be taken. In order to make these (purely aesthetic) figures available, it must be possible to examine the entire directory structure before initiating any transfer in question.
To date, only one client has apparently been reported to us which does not support this mechanism (Duplicity: a backup program apparently made up of a collection of small scripts to automate the operations in question).
All other clients (Cobian, CureFTP, SmartFTP, Fetch, FileZilla, etc.) do it without you even being aware.
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