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Re: Poll: do we really need newline conversion?

From: Branko Čibej <brane_at_xbc.nu>
Date: 2001-12-11 20:43:00 CET

Karl Fogel wrote:

>Recently, some people posted asking whether Subversion should even
>bother to perform newline conversion.
>
I'm definitely against not having newline conversion.

(O.K., easy for me to say, I'm not implementing it ...)

As long as people use editors that don't behave nicely in the presence
of different line ending conventions (and this will be forever), newline
conversion actually helps maintain the integrity of the repository.

As long as there are compilers that barf on a non-native newline (wich
most Unix compilers do), and people share code between different
flavours of systems ... well, same as above.

As to newline conversion being outside the scope of a version control
system ... strictly speaking, so is support for showing diffs on text
files. you only *need* to be able to get the different versions, you can
diff them yourself ... (ok, ok, never mind.)

Last but not least, this is something other SCM systems provide, and
users will expect it.

>On pondering the question, I have to admit they have a point. :-)
>
> * Modern text editors handle all newline styles transparently.
> It's true that Windows Notepad doesn't work with LF-only files,
> but then again, Notepad also doesn't do files larger than 32kb,
> so I feel pretty comfortable not worrying about Notepad.
>
> * Although we've had some problems with the line endings in
> .dsp/.dsw files, solving those particular problems certainly
> didn't require Subversion to do newline conversion; they were
> more a matter of pilot error.
>
> * Mike Pilato argues (convincingly, IMHO) that newline conversion
> is way outside the scope of a version control system anyway, that
> it's just a weird bit of creeping featurism that doesn't even
> provide something terribly useful anymore, and has the potential
> to damage data (since it's a departure from faithfully versioning
> whatever people checked in).
>
>Frankly, I'm thinking we shouldn't bother. Why spend time on a
>feature that a) people rarely need these days and b) has the potential
>to do unexpected things to people's data?
>
>Would like to know what other people think...
>
>(Note that this question is independent of keyword substitution, and
>also doesn't affect our need to recognize text vs binary files --
>we'll always need that differentiation, so we know when we can use
>patch to do textual merges.)
>
>-Karl
>
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-- 
Brane �ibej   <brane_at_xbc.nu>   http://www.xbc.nu/brane/
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Received on Sat Oct 21 14:36:52 2006

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