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From Adrian Sutton <>
Subject RE: help - multiple location of commons releases
Date Fri, 14 Feb 2003 04:59:54 GMT
>A version of Apple's tar had some kind of bug. I'm not sure if that's
>still there. The main problem with OS X is that the default [and only
>reasonable] filing system is case insensitive [windows has this problem
>though], and more painfully, the default unzipper stuffit likes to chop
>filenames off at a certain length. But these are the same problems for
>tag.gz and zip.

Actually, Apple doesn't really have it's own version of tar, it shipped the
same tar that comes with Solaris and gnutar (the one that handles long
filenames) installed as gnutar.  The standard tar now reports itself as GNU
tar on 10.2.4 so I imagine that it was changed around either 10.1 or 10.2.
You'll most likely find that a lot of solaris boxes still don't have gnutar
and so they also suffer from the truncated filename problem that OS X did as
well (though checking our Solaris 8 box here it has GNU tar, not sure if we
installed that or not though).

As for StuffIt, earlier versions chopped filenames off, however this was
fixed quite some time ago as well and you are correct that it affected both
tar.gz and zip.

As for case insensitive file systems, you'll find that that's a very common
problem so you should never name two files the same thing differing only by
case - at the very least it confuses users.  You'll also note that there are
actually three types of file systems with regards to case:

1. Case sesitive (Linux, Solaris, most UNIX's)
2. Case insensitive (DOS and perhaps early versions of Windows)
3. Case preserving (Mac and more recent versions of Windows)

Case preserving is case insensitive for finding a file but case sensitive
for creating a new file, hence if I create a file on a mac called "File" I
can refer to it as either "File" or "file" but if I transfer it to a Linux
box it will always come across as "File".  If the same was done with a DOS
file system it would come across to the Linux box as "FILE".

As for what to distribute as:

* make sure the .zip file stays as .tar.gz still isn't particularly common
on Windows

* make very sure you assume case sensitivity when referring to files but
never have two files of the same name with different case

* try to keep the file names under 32 characters if possible (the maximum
file length on Mac OS 8 and below).  Of course, if you're using anything
above Java 1.1 it won't run on OS 8 or 9 anyway.

I've been working with Macs, Windows and Linux for many years now and that
advise seems to get me through nearly every situation pretty happily.

Adrian Sutton, Software Engineer
Ephox Corporation

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