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Re: request to clarify and improve Subversion property name specification

From: C. Michael Pilato <cmpilato_at_collab.net>
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2012 10:19:08 -0500

On 01/29/2012 02:14 PM, Garret Wilson wrote:
> On 1/29/2012 10:55 AM, Branko ─îibej wrote:
>> ... I can't help wondering why you didn't ask about valid property names
>> /before/ you created a bunch of invalid ones. Sounds like you made one too
>> many assumption.
> Wait, seriously? You're saying that, whenever there is an API call and I
> pass something to it and it comes back with no errors, that nevertheless I
> should spend days asking on various lists just to make sure that the values
> I sent to the API really was OK?? Surely you jest.
> The appropriate thing to do would be to consult the Subversion
> specification. But there is no such specification.

You're right, Garret, there is no specification. There is, however, a book.
 The original version of the book (finished in 2004) contained the following
in the second paragraph of the "Properties" section:

"Generally speaking, the names and values of the properties can be whatever
you want them to be, with the constraint that the names must be
human-readable text."[1]

That statement remained unchanged in subsequent book versions until the 1.5
version (which came out in 2008), at which time we tightened up the
definition of "human-readable text" a bit:

"Generally speaking, the names and values of the properties can be whatever
you want them to be, with the constraint that the names must contain only
ASCII characters."[2]

Now, even that most recent definition isn't quite good enough. After all,
newlines and tab spaces are ASCII characters, too. But I certainly don't
see how either of the existing forms of this statement could be construed to
indicate that non-ASCII middle-dot characters in property names were an
intentionally supported use-case. :-)

Still, you've made some very valid points in this thread, specifically as
regards how we are perhaps overly strict in some areas of our property
requirements and not consistently strict enough elsewhere. I've filed book
issue #157[3] toward improving further still the book's documentation of
these requirements.

I hope your participation in this thread hasn't soured your appetite for
Subversion or its improvement.

-- C-Mike

[1] http://svnbook.red-bean.com/en/1.0/ch07s02.html
[2] http://svnbook.red-bean.com/en/1.7/svn.advanced.props.html
[3] http://code.google.com/p/svnbook/issues/detail?id=157

C. Michael Pilato <cmpilato_at_collab.net>
CollabNet   <>   www.collab.net   <>   Distributed Development On Demand

Received on 2012-01-30 16:19:45 CET

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