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From Gordon Henriksen <>
Subject Re: Canonical names - what are they?
Date Wed, 18 Oct 2000 21:32:20 GMT
on 10/18/00 3:17 PM, William A. Rowe, Jr. at wrote:

>> From: Gordon Henriksen []
>> Sent: Wednesday, October 18, 2000 2:05 PM
>> on 10/14/00 3:20 AM, William A. Rowe, Jr. at
>> wrote:
>>> If you have feedback, complaints or suggestions please offer them up
>>> before I invest the energy to pound this out.
>> You are keeping in mind the case of non-POSIX filesystem semantics running
>> in a Unix environment, I hope. This will be very important with Mac OS X,
>> which has to operate on a HFS+ volume for historical reasons.  HFS+ is a
>> case-preserving, case-insensitive Unicode filesystem.
> Only if they speak up loudly :-)

I certainly don't have time here to start digging around in Apache's guts;
I'm tied up enough as it is, and those 500 Apache development list messages
from the last week seem mighty intimidating. However, I'm absolutely
positive that somebody at Apple is very interested in this; in the past,
they've had to issue security warnings about not serving from HFS+ with
Apache. (And despite the fact that HFS+ performs better than UFS.) I've got
a few people I can ask, so I'll see if I can get someone to dig a contact up
for you.

> Please, feel free to comment on the list to all that I'm proposing.

I wasn't following the discussion closely enough to be even vaguely sure
that my comments wouldn't be redundant.

> I don't support you will be in London next week?  This is why I want a BOF
> session.

Not a chance in hell. :)

> I believe OS X looks very similar to NT in naming (case insensitive/preserving
> and unicode)...

Pretty similar, it sounds. Case insensitive Unicode strings are a little
wacky.^H when B-trees (or other sorted structures) are used in the
filesystem implementation, though; collation order becomes absolutely vital.
So the Unicode case-folding in use is frozen at some point that's a couple
years old. The best solution would be a way to rely upon the filesystem
implementation to perform canonicalization for you, most likely folding to
the case that is actually in the filesystem.

> what is the machine/volume syntax for shared volumes, or is it using
> traditional unix mounting (all rooted to / ?)

OS X is an honest-to-God Unix, and HFS appears just like any other Unix
volume, except that file naming semantics aren't POSIX. That, and /'s in Mac
OS filenames become :'s when viewed from Unix.


Gordon Henriksen

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