extended attribute standardization
Michael.Burschik at gmx.de
Sat Nov 18 12:44:20 EET 2006
Claes at work wrote:
> I created the CommonExtendedAttributes page a while ago, and I welcome
> a discussion on how xattrs can be put to good use.
>> I think the idea is a good one, but I feel that it's somewhat premature
>> to create a big deal around something that virtually nobody uses at this
>> point. It's up for application developers to decide how they want to
>> use extended attributes, and it's been my experience that trying to
>> define standards before there are any real users or use-cases ultimately
>> leads to an incomplete and ineffectual document.
> I think one thing that makes xattrs somewhat special is that it is not
> usually the actual applications that save files that benefit from the
> setting attributes. I think that is why they seem to be used so
> rarely. It would be other apps, like file managers and indexers - if
> enough files were saved with common metadata as extended attributes.
>> More interesting uses for xattrs in my mind would be for mail programs
>> to associate attachments saved to disk back to the original email; for
>> browsers to associated saved documents to the web page they were
>> downloaded from; tagging of files seems to make sense to me in xattrs;
>> and things of that nature. Essentially external metadata on a document
>> which doesn't natively support that kind of metadata.
> Exactly. Some of these examples are proposed on the wiki page
> (user.xdg.origin.url, user.xdg.origin.email.subject etc), but I would
> be interested to hear of more ideas.
>> If http://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/CommonExtendedAttributes is accurate
>> in the coverage of xattr use out there, there are *three* applications
>> using them today: Beagle, ROX contact manager, and an Apache module.
>> Deciding how best to use xattrs and advocating their use with other
>> developers seems like a more important first step than setting up wikis
>> and mailing lists.
> I think the current wiki page is a good start, and hopefully it will
> eventually inspire developers to add these attributes to files they
> save. How easy would it be to add xattr support to desktop frameworks
> (KDE/Gnome) and get many applications to support some basic attributes
> automatically? Is it something that can be added to common file
> dialogs for example?
> xdg mailing list
> xdg at lists.freedesktop.org
What about saving Dublin core metadata as extended attributes?
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