text in fields (CR/LF, CR, LF) which is correct?
kee at kagi.com
Fri Aug 30 14:19:01 CDT 2002
>J. Landman Gay wrote:
>> Dar Scott <dsc at swcp.com> wrote:
>>> However, I've seen examples from old timers on the list that
>>> include return quite a bit. I find that jarring and sometimes
>>> confusing. Yet, others might find it quite natural.
>> It's a holdover from HyperCard and SuperCard, where "return" has been in
>> use since the beginning. As you say, it's very natural for anyone coming
>> from another xtalk environment. The synonym "cr" is what others probably
>> want to use, it's the same thing.
>> I'm not convinced we need a new constant though, but of course I could
>> easily be missing something. I have always just used "cr" or "return"
>> (interchangeably) and line endings have always been converted correctly
>> no matter what platform I move my stack to. Never had any problems with
>> it. If hard binary data needs to be converted, as in the case we've been
>> discussing, then I just replace the appropriate ascii characters with
>> "cr" or "return" and it fixes things.
>With one issue: it is perfectly reasonable to expect an intelligent person
>to attempt to use "cr" or "return" in cases where they realy need a _real_
>This disparity between the Mac-authoring-tool convention and the
>UNIX-favoring MC engine presents a learnability problem for anyone who
>hasn't yet learned that the "return" constant does not denote a return
>In looking for ways to solve the problem, we have to ask ourselves: should
>we give real and true values to constants for the benefit of all future
>users, or do we keep answering this question ad infinitum in order to
>preserve compatibility with 10 years' of legacy code. Not an easy call to
>As has been done in other cases where new behavior may require substantial
>revisio to legacy code, we could consider a global property, something like
>the useOldStyleConstants, so we can retain compatibility by adding only one
>line of code.
I think you have described the dilemma for Revolution and have hit on
a very good suggested solution.
There is no international specification that I am aware of that uses
the symbol of CR to mean ASCII 10. Every specification I have ever
seen refers to CR as an abbreviation for Carriage Return and it
always refers to ASCII 13. Even Revolution has CR equal to ASCII 13
in the CRLF constant.
Secondly, I have never seen any international specification where
Return is not just a shorthand way of saying Carriage Return. Thus to
my mind, the only value that Return or CR should equal, under all
circumstances is ASCII 13.
If there is doubt about the generally accepted value of CR, please
refer to RFC318 <http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc318.html> which is just
one example. Keep in mind that back in 1972 this RFC was probably
created on a Unix machine where lines are terminated with a linefeed
and in this spec CR is still denoted as ASCII 13.
I'm just guessing here but perhaps someone in the past Revolution
history saw the text printed on the return key ("return") and decided
that because on a unix system hitting the key labelled return
inserted a LineFeed, that it made sense to them to have the Return
value equal the value created when hitting the Return key on the
keyboard on their unix machine (the value of LineFeed). Then because
Return is equivalent to Carriage Return they made the CR constant
equal ASCII 10 also. They were mistaken to connect the result of
hitting the Return key to the specific result as seen in a Unix text
If I was the one to decide how to modify Revolution going forward,
I'd chose to make Revolution compatible with all the desired future
1. I'd correct Revolution in the next revision so that CR and return
are always ASCII 13, regardless of platform.
2. I'd put in a switch for backwards compatibility.
useOldStyleConstants is a reasonable suggestion.
3. I'd introduce a new constant like endOfLine or LineEnd or
LineTermination or something else as long as it is not already being
used in some character specification, and that constant would be
whatever that specific platform and system uses to terminate lines.
My newly created function calls to make sure I do the right thing
with the data I get from a database are:
function adjustLineEndOS thetext
replace (numtochar(13) & numtochar(10)) with numtochar(13) in thetext
replace numtochar(10) with numtochar(13) in thetext
replace numtochar(10) with getLineEnd() in thetext
put numtochar(13) & numtochar(10) into lineEnd
put the systemVersion into ver
put char 1 to (offset(".",ver)-1) of ver into ver
if ver > 9 then
put numtochar(10) into lineEnd
put numtochar(13) into lineEnd
put numtochar(10) into lineEnd
Thanks to everyone who offered suggestions and assistance, much
appreciated. I'll stop talking about this issue and go back to work.
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