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8 <title>GLEP 31 -- Character Sets for Portage Tree Items</title>
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19 [<b><a href="http://www.gentoo.org/">Gentoo Linux Home</a></b>]
20 [<b><a href="http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/glep">GLEP Index</a></b>]
21 [<b><a href="http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/glep/glep-0031.txt">GLEP Source</a></b>]
22 </td></tr></table>
23 <table class="rfc2822 docutils field-list" frame="void" rules="none">
24 <col class="field-name" />
25 <col class="field-body" />
26 <tbody valign="top">
27 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">GLEP:</th><td class="field-body">31</td>
28 </tr>
29 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Title:</th><td class="field-body">Character Sets for Portage Tree Items</td>
30 </tr>
31 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Version:</th><td class="field-body">1.6</td>
32 </tr>
33 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Author:</th><td class="field-body">Ciaran McCreesh &lt;ciaranm&#32;&#97;t&#32;gentoo.org&gt;</td>
34 </tr>
35 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Last-Modified:</th><td class="field-body"><a class="reference" href="http://www.gentoo.org/cgi-bin/viewcvs.cgi/xml/htdocs/proj/en/glep/glep-0031.txt?cvsroot=gentoo">2007/04/21 03:03:05</a></td>
36 </tr>
37 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Status:</th><td class="field-body">Final</td>
38 </tr>
39 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Type:</th><td class="field-body">Standards Track</td>
40 </tr>
41 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Content-Type:</th><td class="field-body"><a class="reference" href="glep-0002.html">text/x-rst</a></td>
42 </tr>
43 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Created:</th><td class="field-body">27-Oct-2004</td>
44 </tr>
45 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Post-History:</th><td class="field-body">28-Oct-2004, 1-Nov-2004, 11-Nov-2004</td>
46 </tr>
47 </tbody>
48 </table>
49 <hr />
50 <div class="contents topic">
51 <p class="topic-title first"><a id="contents" name="contents">Contents</a></p>
52 <ul class="simple">
53 <li><a class="reference" href="#abstract" id="id9" name="id9">Abstract</a></li>
54 <li><a class="reference" href="#status" id="id10" name="id10">Status</a></li>
55 <li><a class="reference" href="#motivation" id="id11" name="id11">Motivation</a></li>
56 <li><a class="reference" href="#specification" id="id12" name="id12">Specification</a><ul>
57 <li><a class="reference" href="#changelog-and-metadata-character-sets" id="id13" name="id13">ChangeLog and Metadata Character Sets</a></li>
58 <li><a class="reference" href="#ebuild-and-eclass-character-sets" id="id14" name="id14">Ebuild and Eclass Character Sets</a></li>
59 <li><a class="reference" href="#files-entries-character-sets" id="id15" name="id15">files/ Entries Character Sets</a></li>
60 <li><a class="reference" href="#suitable-characters-for-file-and-directory-names" id="id16" name="id16">Suitable Characters for File and Directory Names</a></li>
61 </ul>
62 </li>
63 <li><a class="reference" href="#backwards-compatibility" id="id17" name="id17">Backwards Compatibility</a></li>
64 <li><a class="reference" href="#references" id="id18" name="id18">References</a></li>
65 <li><a class="reference" href="#copyright" id="id19" name="id19">Copyright</a></li>
66 </ul>
67 </div>
68 <div class="section">
69 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id9" id="abstract" name="abstract">Abstract</a></h1>
70 <p>A set of guidelines regarding what characters are permissible in the
71 portage tree and how they should be encoded is required.</p>
72 </div>
73 <div class="section">
74 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id10" id="status" name="status">Status</a></h1>
75 <p>Approved on 8-Nov-2004 assuming that implementation will include
76 documentation for correctly encoding files within nano.</p>
77 </div>
78 <div class="section">
79 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id11" id="motivation" name="motivation">Motivation</a></h1>
80 <p>At present we have several developers and many more users whose names
81 require characters (for example, accents) which are not part of the
82 standard 'safe' 0..127 ASCII range. There is no current standard on how
83 these should be represented, leading to inconsistency across the tree.</p>
84 <p>Although the issues involved have been discussed informally many times, no
85 official decision has been made.</p>
86 </div>
87 <div class="section">
88 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id12" id="specification" name="specification">Specification</a></h1>
89 <div class="section">
90 <h2><a class="toc-backref" href="#id13" id="changelog-and-metadata-character-sets" name="changelog-and-metadata-character-sets">ChangeLog and Metadata Character Sets</a></h2>
91 <p>It is proposed that UTF-8 (<a class="footnote-reference" href="#id5" id="id1" name="id1">[1]</a>) is used for encoding ChangeLog and
92 metadata.xml files inside the portage tree.</p>
93 <p>UTF-8 allows the full range of Unicode (<a class="footnote-reference" href="#id6" id="id2" name="id2">[2]</a>) characters to be expressed,
94 which is necessary given the diversity of the Gentoo developer- and
95 user-base. It is character-compatible with ASCII for the 0..127
96 characters and does not significantly increase the storage requirements
97 for files which consist mainly of American English characters. It is
98 widely supported, widely used and an official standard.</p>
99 <p>The ISO-8859-* character sets (<a class="footnote-reference" href="#id7" id="id3" name="id3">[3]</a>) would <em>not</em> be appropriate since they
100 cannot express the full range of required characters.</p>
101 </div>
102 <div class="section">
103 <h2><a class="toc-backref" href="#id14" id="ebuild-and-eclass-character-sets" name="ebuild-and-eclass-character-sets">Ebuild and Eclass Character Sets</a></h2>
104 <p>For the same reasons as previously, it is proposed that UTF-8 is used as
105 the official encoding for ebuild and eclass files.</p>
106 <p>However, developers should be warned that any code which is parsed by bash
107 (in other words, non-comments), and any output which is echoed to the
108 screen (for example, einfo messages) or given to portage (for example any
109 of the standard global variables) must not use anything outside the
110 regular ASCII 0..127 range for compatibility purposes.</p>
111 </div>
112 <div class="section">
113 <h2><a class="toc-backref" href="#id15" id="files-entries-character-sets" name="files-entries-character-sets">files/ Entries Character Sets</a></h2>
114 <p>Patches must clearly be in the same character set as the file they are
115 patching. For other files/ entries (for example, GNOME desktop files),
116 consistency with the upstream-recommended character set is most sensible.</p>
117 </div>
118 <div class="section">
119 <h2><a class="toc-backref" href="#id16" id="suitable-characters-for-file-and-directory-names" name="suitable-characters-for-file-and-directory-names">Suitable Characters for File and Directory Names</a></h2>
120 <p>Characters outside the ASCII 0..127 range cannot safely be used for file
121 or directory names. (Of course, not all characters inside the ASCII 0..127
122 range can be used safely either.)</p>
123 </div>
124 </div>
125 <div class="section">
126 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id17" id="backwards-compatibility" name="backwards-compatibility">Backwards Compatibility</a></h1>
127 <p>The existing tree uses a mixture of encodings. It would be straightforward
128 to fix existing ChangeLogs and metadata files to use UTF-8.</p>
129 <p>The <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">echangelog</span></tt> tool is character-set agnostic. In order to properly
130 enter UTF-8, developers would have to switch to a UTF-8 shell session.
131 This only applies if the developer is entering new text which uses 'fancy'
132 characters -- existing characters are not mangled.</p>
133 <p>Certain text editors are incapable of handling UTF-8 cleanly. However,
134 since the <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">echangelog</span></tt> tool is generally the correct way to generate
135 ChangeLog entries, this should not be a major problem. Generating
136 metadata.xml files correctly in these editors could become problematic.
137 The <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">vim</span></tt> and <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">emacs</span></tt> editors, which appear to be most widely used,
138 are both capable of handling UTF-8 cleanly -- for vim, this could be
139 configured automatically via the <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">gentoo-syntax</span></tt> (<a class="footnote-reference" href="#id8" id="id4" name="id4">[4]</a>) package.</p>
140 </div>
141 <div class="section">
142 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id18" id="references" name="references">References</a></h1>
143 <table class="docutils footnote" frame="void" id="id5" rules="none">
144 <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
145 <tbody valign="top">
146 <tr><td class="label"><a class="fn-backref" href="#id1" name="id5">[1]</a></td><td><a class="reference" href="http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc3629.html">RFC 3629</a>: UTF-8, a transformation format of ISO 10646
147 <a class="reference" href="http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc3629.txt">http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc3629.txt</a></td></tr>
148 </tbody>
149 </table>
150 <table class="docutils footnote" frame="void" id="id6" rules="none">
151 <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
152 <tbody valign="top">
153 <tr><td class="label"><a class="fn-backref" href="#id2" name="id6">[2]</a></td><td>ISO/IEC 10646 (Universal Multiple-Octet Coded Character Set)</td></tr>
154 </tbody>
155 </table>
156 <table class="docutils footnote" frame="void" id="id7" rules="none">
157 <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
158 <tbody valign="top">
159 <tr><td class="label"><a class="fn-backref" href="#id3" name="id7">[3]</a></td><td>ISO/IEC 8859 (8-bit single-byte coded graphic character sets)</td></tr>
160 </tbody>
161 </table>
162 <table class="docutils footnote" frame="void" id="id8" rules="none">
163 <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
164 <tbody valign="top">
165 <tr><td class="label"><a class="fn-backref" href="#id4" name="id8">[4]</a></td><td>The app-vim/gentoo-syntax package,
166 <a class="reference" href="https://developer.berlios.de/projects/gentoo-syntax/">https://developer.berlios.de/projects/gentoo-syntax/</a></td></tr>
167 </tbody>
168 </table>
169 </div>
170 <div class="section">
171 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id19" id="copyright" name="copyright">Copyright</a></h1>
172 <p>This document has been placed in the public domain.</p>
173 <!-- vim: set tw=74 fileencoding=utf-8 : -->
174 </div>
176 </div>
177 <div class="footer">
178 <hr class="footer" />
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