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From Stefan Seelmann <>
Subject [LDAP Studio] How to handle attributes with empty values?
Date Sat, 21 Apr 2007 10:59:01 GMT

ApacheDS and also other servers accept attributes with empty values.
Here is an example entry:

dn: cn=empty,dc=example,dc=com
objectClass: person
objectClass: top
cn: empty
sn: empty
description: test
seeAlso: dc=example,dc=com

One scenario where an empty value makes sense is a reference to the
RootDSE, like in the example above. Could you give me some more
scenarios, where empty values are useful?

LDAP Studio displays this values correctly. But it is not possible to
add such an empty value. Moreover, an empty value is deleted when adding
a second non-empty value or when editing the empty value in the search
result editor. And the LDIF editor marks a line with an empty value as
erroneous. These bugs must be fixed.

Currently the empty string cancels editing. If you add a new value and
let it empty it isn't transfered to the server. If you edit an existing
value and make it empty the operation is canceled and the old value remains.

So my question is how should LS assist the user when s/he wants to add
an empty value?

Some suggestions:
- When adding a new empty value or editing an existing value we could
prompt: "Do you really want to save the empty value?"
- A special action: "Make this value empty"

But we should not prompt too many dialogs. I think in 99.9999% the user
doesn't want to add an empty value.

Many Thanks,
Stefan Seelmann

P.S. I tested some other LDAP browsers but no one could handle empty values.

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