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Re: setting a convention for property values

From: Ben Collins-Sussman <sussman_at_collab.net>
Date: 2002-12-04 21:18:32 CET

Kevin Pilch-Bisson <kevin@pilch-bisson.net> writes:

> My personal option is that svn: props should be utf-8, lf line
> endings. All other props should be binary, and base64 encoded if
> that is what dav requires.

The problem with the status quo, as Jon Trowbridge puts it, is that
we're effectively slipping into the "X-windows fallacy" -- i.e. not
imposing enough policy.

Jon is working on gsvn. He gets some property values, and needs to
display them, and these aren't svn: props. What can he do? He has no
way to know if they're binary. And if they're text, he has no idea
how to decode them for display. (Gnome requires that all displayed
strings be UTF8.)

So we sat around and speculated about all these crazy ways to create
metadata for our metadata. But after a while, we all realized that
that way lies madness.

By not imposing any policy at all, we end up with an interoperability
nightmare. You may have many collaborators using one repository, but
they all have different clients, and none of the clients have any idea
how to share metadata with one another. The subversion libraries are
in a unique position to *create* interoperabilty by imposing UTF8/LF
policy, just as we've done with log messages.

I guess our assumption is that binary properties are truly rare
things, and that client interoperability is worth "more" to us...

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Received on Wed Dec 4 21:21:17 2002

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