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glep 31 has been final for a while

1 GLEP: 31
2 Title: Character Sets for Portage Tree Items
3 Version: $Revision: 1.5 $
4 Author: Ciaran McCreesh <ciaranm@gentoo.org>
5 Last-Modified: $Date: 2005/11/07 22:26:59 $
6 Status: Final
7 Type: Standards Track
8 Content-Type: text/x-rst
9 Created: 27-Oct-2004
10 Post-History: 28-Oct-2004, 1-Nov-2004, 11-Nov-2004
11
12 Abstract
13 ========
14
15 A set of guidelines regarding what characters are permissible in the
16 portage tree and how they should be encoded is required.
17
18 Status
19 ======
20
21 Approved on 8-Nov-2004 assuming that implementation will include
22 documentation for correctly encoding files within nano.
23
24 Motivation
25 ==========
26
27 At present we have several developers and many more users whose names
28 require characters (for example, accents) which are not part of the
29 standard 'safe' 0..127 ASCII range. There is no current standard on how
30 these should be represented, leading to inconsistency across the tree.
31
32 Although the issues involved have been discussed informally many times, no
33 official decision has been made.
34
35 Specification
36 =============
37
38 ChangeLog and Metadata Character Sets
39 -------------------------------------
40
41 It is proposed that UTF-8 ([1]_) is used for encoding ChangeLog and
42 metadata.xml files inside the portage tree.
43
44 UTF-8 allows the full range of Unicode ([2]_) characters to be expressed,
45 which is necessary given the diversity of the Gentoo developer- and
46 user-base. It is character-compatible with ASCII for the 0..127
47 characters and does not significantly increase the storage requirements
48 for files which consist mainly of American English characters. It is
49 widely supported, widely used and an official standard.
50
51 The ISO-8859-* character sets ([3]_) would *not* be appropriate since they
52 cannot express the full range of required characters.
53
54 Ebuild and Eclass Character Sets
55 --------------------------------
56
57 For the same reasons as previously, it is proposed that UTF-8 is used as
58 the official encoding for ebuild and eclass files.
59
60 However, developers should be warned that any code which is parsed by bash
61 (in other words, non-comments), and any output which is echoed to the
62 screen (for example, einfo messages) or given to portage (for example any
63 of the standard global variables) must not use anything outside the
64 regular ASCII 0..127 range for compatibility purposes.
65
66 files/ Entries Character Sets
67 -----------------------------
68
69 Patches must clearly be in the same character set as the file they are
70 patching. For other files/ entries (for example, GNOME desktop files),
71 consistency with the upstream-recommended character set is most sensible.
72
73 Suitable Characters for File and Directory Names
74 ------------------------------------------------
75
76 Characters outside the ASCII 0..127 range cannot safely be used for file
77 or directory names. (Of course, not all characters inside the ASCII 0..127
78 range can be used safely either.)
79
80 Backwards Compatibility
81 =======================
82
83 The existing tree uses a mixture of encodings. It would be straightforward
84 to fix existing ChangeLogs and metadata files to use UTF-8.
85
86 The ``echangelog`` tool is character-set agnostic. In order to properly
87 enter UTF-8, developers would have to switch to a UTF-8 shell session.
88 This only applies if the developer is entering new text which uses 'fancy'
89 characters -- existing characters are not mangled.
90
91 Certain text editors are incapable of handling UTF-8 cleanly. However,
92 since the ``echangelog`` tool is generally the correct way to generate
93 ChangeLog entries, this should not be a major problem. Generating
94 metadata.xml files correctly in these editors could become problematic.
95 The ``vim`` and ``emacs`` editors, which appear to be most widely used,
96 are both capable of handling UTF-8 cleanly -- for vim, this could be
97 configured automatically via the ``gentoo-syntax`` ([4]_) package.
98
99 References
100 ==========
101
102 .. [1] RFC 3629: UTF-8, a transformation format of ISO 10646
103 http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc3629.txt
104 .. [2] ISO/IEC 10646 (Universal Multiple-Octet Coded Character Set)
105 .. [3] ISO/IEC 8859 (8-bit single-byte coded graphic character sets)
106 .. [4] The app-vim/gentoo-syntax package,
107 https://developer.berlios.de/projects/gentoo-syntax/
108
109 Copyright
110 =========
111
112 This document has been placed in the public domain.
113
114 .. vim: set tw=74 fileencoding=utf-8 :

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