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Re: Textual binaries

From: Ben Collins-Sussman <sussman_at_collab.net>
Date: 2004-07-30 21:16:58 CEST

On Fri, 2004-07-30 at 14:04, Marcus Sundman wrote:
> > > Any way to convince Subversion that this particular type is actually
> > > text and let me diff it? Or is this an RFE?
> >
> > Subversion has an internal list of mime-types that it thinks are
> > textual: text/*, and a few others. Otherwise it assumes that any other
> > mime-type is binary, and un-diffable.
>
> That's just stupid. There is no thing as "text vs. binary"! All files are
> binary. There isn't such a thing as "plain text". A "text file" is a binary
> file in some particular encoding.

In terms of storing bytes in the repository, you're correct. The
repository makes no distinction between text and binary files. It
stores and compresses all files as 'blobs of bytes'.

But the svn client has the job of doing line-based contextual diffs.
This cannot be done on anything but a line-based "text" file.
Therefore, the client has to have a way of guessing whether a file
qualifies for this operation.

> Why on earth don't you add support for mapping each mime-type to some kind
> of plugin that knows how to diff/merge/annotate that particular type of
> files?

That's our long-term plan.

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Received on Fri Jul 30 21:19:19 2004

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