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Re: FSFS format7 and compressed XML bundles

From: Julian Foad <julianfoad_at_btopenworld.com>
Date: Tue, 5 Mar 2013 16:52:30 +0000 (GMT)

Vincent Lefevre wrote:

> On 2013-03-05 13:30:28 +0000, Julian Foad wrote:
>> Vincent Lefevre wrote:
>> > On 2013-03-01 14:58:10 +0000, Philip Martin wrote:
>> >>  A server-side solution is difficult.  Suppose the client has some
>> >>  uncompressed content U which it compresses to C and sends to the server.
>> >>  The server can uncompress C to get U but unless the compression scheme
>> >>  has a canonical compressed form, with no other forms allowed, the server
>> >>  cannot avoid storing C because there is no guarantee that C can be
>> >>  reconstructed from U.
>> >
>> > This is not specific to server side. Even on the client side, the
>> > reconstruction may not be always possible, e.g. if the system is
>> > upgraded or if NFS is used. And the compression level may need to
>> > be detected or provided in some way.
>> Hi Vincent.  I'm not sure you understood Philip's point.
> This should be more clear about what I meant below. What I'm saying is
> that whether this is done entirely on the server side (a bad solution,
> IMHO) or on the client side (see below why), the problems are similar.

The point Philip made is *not* a problem if done client-side; some of the *other* problems are similar no matter on which side we would do the expansion/compression.

>> His point is (correct me if I'm wrong) that Subversion's design
>> requires that during a checkout or update, the server must
>> reconstruct a file containing exactly the same bit pattern that the
>> client sent when committing the file.  Compression schemes in
>> general don't guarantee that expanding and then compressing will
>> produce the same compressed bit pattern, even if you take care to
>> use the same "compression level".  Therefore, the server cannot
>> simply expand the data before storing it and then re-compress it
>> during checkout or update, because, although the resulting
>> compressed file would be a valid representation of the user's data,
>> it would not satisfy Subversion's own requirement that the bit
>> pattern be identical to what was sent by the client during the
>> commit.
> You say that the server expands the data before storing it. This is
> for a server-side only solution, I assume.

Yes, I'm talking about the server-side-only solution, which is one of the hypothetical solutions that we are discussing and comparing.

> But even if there would
> be no problems with the construction/reconstruction, it would be a
> bad solution, IMHO. Indeed, for a commit, it is the client that is
> supposed to expand the data before sending the diff to the server,

What do you mean "the client [...] is supposed to expand the data"?  I don't understand why you think the client is "supposed" to do such a thing.

> and for an update, it is the client that is supposed to recompress
> the data before storing it to the WC. Actually, the server doesn't
> need to know how the file was compressed, it just needs to record
> information about the compression (but doesn't need to know what
> this means exactly).
>> That point _is_ specific to a server-side solution.  With a
>> client-side solution, the user's word processor may not mind if a
>> versioning operation such as a commit (through a decompressing
>> plug-in) followed by checkout (through a re-compressing plug-in)
>> changes the bit pattern of the compressed file, so long as the
>> uncompressed content that it represents is unchanged.
> I disagree.

It's not clear what you disagree with.

> The word processor may not mind (in theory, because
> in practice, one may have bugs that depend on the bit pattern,
> and it would be bad to expose the user to such kind of bugs and
> non-deterministic behavior), but for the user this may be important.
> For instance, a different bit pattern will break a possible signature
> on the compressed file.

I agree that it *may* be important for the user, but the users have control so they can use this client-side scheme in scenarios where it works for them and not use it in other scenarios.

- Julian
Received on 2013-03-05 17:53:07 CET

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