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Re: Autoexpanding ZIP archives?

From: <kfogel_at_collab.net>
Date: 2005-12-08 22:26:50 CET

John Peacock <jpeacock@rowman.com> writes:
> Ah, therein lies the rub. I don't think this (autoexpanding zip
> archives or special handling for OO files) is a reasonable use case.
> I don't think Subversion has any business encoding knowledge about
> some other application's binary file format. If the other app wants
> to use Subversion more efficiently, let them interface with us.

Subversion already encodes knowledge of a particular binary format
used by a large class of applications: the format commonly known as
"text format". Subversion even goes to great trouble to handle some
common line ending variations within that format.

The reason we do this is that text format is very popular. If another
format were equally popular, and we knew how to handle it, I would be
+1 on handling it too.

I'm not taking a particular stance on OO files here. I'm just saying
it's conceptually sloppy for us to think of "text" as special. All
formats are binary formats. The one known as "text" happens to be
very simple to describe and to code for, and very popular, so we built
in special support for it. Someday another format might fit these
criteria equally well, and when that day comes, we shouldn't treat
that format as The Other simply because it's not text. We should deal
with things, not names.

-Karl

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Received on Thu Dec 8 23:58:50 2005

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