Cache directory tagging proposal follow-up
baford at mit.edu
Sun Aug 1 13:43:08 EEST 2004
Dear XDG folks,
I've been talking privately with the developers of various caching and
backup/archival applications about the cache directory tagging proposal I
brought up earlier - again, it's currently at:
I've been getting mostly positive feedback, along with a few good suggestions.
I've added an Application Support Status section to the page above listing
pointers to the projects I've contacted (and those who have expressed at
least tentative support - i.e., a "sure, sounds good, let us know when it's
One technical issue that a few people brought up is whether the tag filename
(currently ".IsCacheDirectory") should be shortened to be compatible with
older POSIX systems with a 14-character filename limitation, or even old
MS-DOS-based systems with the 8.3 limitation. My reasoning for using the
longer name was that it would reduce the chance of accidental name
collisions, and it didn't seem too likely that very old systems would benefit
much from this proposal anyway since they mostly run very old applications.
But since it seems to be a persistent concern, I thought I'd bring it up
here. I'm perfectly willing to change the name to "iscache.dir" or
"cachedir.tag" or something like that if people think that would be better.
Another enhancement I've already made to the latest version of the proposal is
to recommend that caching apps include a comment in their cache tags
referring back to the proposal itself. For example, a typical cache tag
might look like this:
# This file is a cache directory tag created by (application name).
# For information about cache directory tags, see:
That way someone who happens to look at a cache tag, or at the source code of
an application that writes them, will have a better indication of what they
are. But this obviously brings up the question of where the proposal should
"live", since it's now at least in a weak sense "written into the spec". I'm
perfectly happy to keep hosting it on my personal site, but would it be more
appropriate to move it to freedesktop.org at this point?
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