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Re: Proposal for supporting WC file content encoding

From: Julian Foad <julianfoad_at_btopenworld.com>
Date: 2006-03-28 15:16:05 CEST

Jesper Steen Møller wrote:
> I'm proposing to add functionality for "handling" encoding in the text
> content which Subversion handles.

This proposal looks generally quite promising, with the potential to introduce
some useful and practical behaviours, but I'm not exactly sure what you are
aiming to achieve. You wrote about the implementation method that you have
chosen, but did not say what you want users to be able to do, or why. What are
the user-oriented goals? To help describe the goals, it might be helpful to
include some "use cases", i.e. realistic concrete examples (like transcripts)
that demonstrate the various ways in which the user can interact with this feature.

> 'svn diff' between WC and pristine would convert the WC file up to the
> "enriched" level before feeding to the diff libraries (Not sure how this would
> be handled for external diff packages, it might have to save to a temp. file)

So 'svn diff' would display its output in UTF-8 regardless of the encoding of
the files. I can see how this could be useful for people wanting a visual
display of changes, especially when the diff includes files with different
encodings. Was that one of your goals? However, people often want to use the
output of "svn diff" as the input to a standard "patch" program, and this would
prevent that from working.

There are already other ways in which diff output best suited for viewing is
not the best output for using with "patch", such as whether to display a
file-rename as an all-lines-deleted diff and an all-lines-added diff, or just
as a statement saying that the file was renamed. Maybe we need to introduce a
mode switch for "svn diff": human-readable mode versus "patch" mode, or
preferably "svn patch" mode versus "conventional patch" mode.

> The server (RA level) would only see the UTF-8 versions and would not
> need any changes.

When the RA method uses HTTP, I imagine some people will want the server to be
able to serve the file to generic HTTP clients (web browsers) in its native
(non-UTF8) encoding.

- Julian

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Received on Tue Mar 28 15:17:48 2006

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