samba-3.0.0beta1 codeset issue on non-Linux

David Lee t.d.lee at
Fri Jun 13 16:08:48 GMT 2003

Thanks for the reply, Alexander.

On Fri, 13 Jun 2003, Alexander Bokovoy wrote:

> On Fri, Jun 13, 2003 at 10:00:49AM +0100, David Lee wrote:
> > So, can this sample non-Linux OS do native iconv "CP850<=>UCS-2LE"?
> > Answer is both yes and no.  "No": if it must be single stage;  "yes": if
> > we allow two-stage.
> >
> > Which begs further questions about whether we want (or perhaps need) to
> > allow multi-stage charset conversion.
> GNU iconv library is really your friend in that case.

OK.  For me, at my site, it may be my possible friend.

> > But are we going to _require_, as an essential precondition, that every
> > sys.admin. has installed the GNU version of "iconv"?  I hope not (bearing
> > in mind that Samba 3.0 seems mostly OK anyway).
> Why do you not like to work with GNU iconv library?

Who is the "you"?  Me (one particular sysadmin at one particular site)?

Samba is used by thousands of sys.admins at thousands of sites in a vast
array of OS-es and environments, not only technically but also
managerially and politically.  At some sites there may be importance, or
even requirement, that it runs with manufacturer-supplied (i.e. not GNU)
C, make etc.

The Samba Team has always placed very high emphasis on portability and
flexibility, not only technically across OSes (see comments in recent
checkins on the 3.0 branch!) but also "politically" across a range of
mangerial ethos.  (What's the plural of ethos??)

My personal view is that it would be unwise for Samba to _require_ a prior
installation of GNU's iconv.  However if such GNU-based functionality is
required, then bundling "iconv" (or a subset thereof) with Samba might be
the solution.  Note that every autoconf application already does a similar
bundling exercise, namely with the "config.guess" family of files.

So the questions:

1. Are we going to _require_ GNU's iconv at every site?  (I.e. refuse to
   install samba if GNU iconv not already installed.)  I hope not.

2. Assuming that we are going to permit (albeit with reduced enthusiasm)
   the native-OS "iconv", what do we do?  One of:
   a)  What configure tests?  Multi-stage?  Corresponding code changes?
   b)  Bundle iconv (or part) with samba?
   c)  Some other (what?) solution.
   [ Are there other environments (e.g. appliance-like) where an external
   iconv of any form (GNU or native) might be impossible? ]

Hope that helps.


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