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Re: setting a convention for property values

From: Nicholas Riley <njriley_at_uiuc.edu>
Date: 2002-12-04 21:55:37 CET

On Wed, Dec 04, 2002 at 02:18:32PM -0600, Ben Collins-Sussman wrote:

> 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, declare that all text properties must be UTF-8. Sounds reasonable.

> 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.

OTOH, this restricts what types of metadata can be stored about files.
The general tendency (see Microsoft's plans for future versions of
Windows, BeFS, Reiser4, ...) seems to be towards -more- metadata for
files, not less, and some of this is undoubtedly going to be binary in
nature and need versioning.

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

How about creating a separate property namespace for binary properties
then? Or a separate mechanism? Requiring that client developers
somehow agree on a standard for encoding binary props seems like
putting up -more- barriers, not less.

=Nicholas Riley <njriley_at_uiuc.edu> | <http://www.uiuc.edu/ph/www/njriley>
        Pablo Research Group, Department of Computer Science and
  Medical Scholars Program, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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Received on Wed Dec 4 21:56:25 2002

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