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Re: Classifying files as binary or text

From: Mike Samuel <mikesamuel_at_gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 13 Nov 2009 10:46:55 -0800

2009/11/13 Stefan Sperling <stsp_at_elego.de>:
> On Fri, Nov 13, 2009 at 08:30:53AM +0100, B. Smith-Mannschott wrote:
>> Please give me a property with which I can explicitly communicate my
>> intent wrt merging. Please don't munge this information into an
>> existing property by trying to interpret extra meaning from it.
>> As an example of how I've come to feel this way, let's consider XML:
>> We've got lots of XML files in our repository. Some of them make sense
>> to merge (Maven's pom.xml) and some do not (UML models stored in XMI
>> format).
> I think this is a very good point.
> So "textiness" does not imply "mergeable". A file might contain text
> in some character encoding, but a merge tool may not be able to handle
> it properly because of the application-level semantics the text represents.
> It would just garble the file.
> Mike, I think this is quite important. It means that even just looking
> for "text/*" is totally wrong. Extending this flawed mechanism by making
> Subversion look for "; charset=" is not gonna help. The subject of this
> thread should not be "Classifying files as binary or text" but "How to
> determine whether a file is suitable for being merged?".

Fair enough. And Branko's suggestion to start small with a property
that can be extended from "should merge" to "how to merge" seems wiser
given that the merge concern is the only real concern.

Please consider my proposal withdrawn.

> So I'd favour Branko's proposal, a property which communicates to Subversion
> whether file content is suitable to be passed to a diff or merge tool,
> regardless of the mime-type. Branko (or anyone else), could you work on
> extending this proposal by defining behaviour such as what should happen
> when a new file is added (will this property always have to be set manually
> or will it be set automatically in some cases?), what should happen if the
> property is set on merge-left but not on merge-right or on the merge target,
> and whatever other corner-cases we can think of?
> A new file in notes/ would be nice :)
> The svn:mime-type property still has its place, e.g. it is useful
> whenever a specific mime-type should be sent to a web browser browsing
> a Subversion repository. But I agree with deprecating its use to detect
> "mergeability".

> Stefan

Received on 2009-11-13 19:47:13 CET

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