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From Emmanuel Lecharny <>
Subject Re: Empty DN ("") String Value?
Date Mon, 26 Nov 2007 13:25:18 GMT
Hallvard B Furuseth wrote:
> Michael Ströder writes:
>> It really depends on what you want to express. Note that "" represents
>> the rootDSE or root naming context. So "" would reference something
>> existing or well-defined. IMHO NULL (or None in Python) would better
>> signal something undefined or none-existing.
> Yes.  There is one case in the LDAP ASN.1 grammar (in rfc 4511) where
> you need to distinguish between an absent DN and an empty DN: The LDAPDN
> field ModifyDNRequest.newSuperior, which is 'OPTIONAL'.  There may be
> others in LDAP extensions defined elsewhere.
This is starting to be confusing. The initial question was :

"Should the toString() method of a class that represents a DN return 
null or an empty string?"

I do think that the answer is : empty String (or zero length String, as 
specified in the RFC).

But if the question is :
"How do I represent a DN in a structure when I do a toString() on this 
structure", then the answer would be :
- null if the DN member is null
- "" if the DN does not hold any value.

Is it better ?

cordialement, regards,
Emmanuel Lécharny

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