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Re: File types [was: Re: wide characters and i18n]

> Thus, it looks more reasonable than it did in 1970 or so to
> place type (meta data) on text files; personally I'd make this
> advisory: only applications that care (e.g. text editors) need
> enquire, and applications that don't (e.g. cp(1)) would not
> enquire except to propagate the metadata along with the file.
Well, what *I* use xattr's for is:

o providing MIME type and, in the case of plain text files (whatever "text
file" means today), charset information;
o user tags to make indexing and searching easier.

Maybe some applications should place MIME type information in newly created
files. I imagine it's easy to make GIMP add "mime-type:image/png" to PNG files
or Open Office put "mime-type:application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.text" (I
think charset info is kept in the file itself) on ODT files.

> If you can figure out how to push it down to the file system
> level, I think you'll be doing well; I don't think you can,
> realistically.
That doesn't mean I can't dream about it happening automagically the way I
want it, right?

> On the other hand, what about when I fire up vi on a file I
> don't have write permission to, and then save a copy after
> I've edited it?  At minimum, I must maintain the right to edit
> it (so ACLs become troublesome) and how does the file system
> possibly work out what I want for extended attributes when I
> use _multiple_ source files to create an entirely new file?
I don't really need (or use, for that matter) ACLs. I believe the concept
itself is fine, but implementing it correctly is clearly non-obvious. VMS
uses some weird combination of file ownership and ACLs, so it may be well
worth borrowing the good ideas and improving the rest where it's needed. I
intend on investigating how VMS and various Unices handle ACLs. You have here
a good argument in favour of making apps xattr-savvy.

Kind regards

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