samba-3.0.0beta1 codeset issue on non-Linux

David Lee t.d.lee at
Mon Jun 16 16:23:49 GMT 2003

On Sat, 14 Jun 2003, Andrew Bartlett wrote:

> On Sat, 2003-06-14 at 13:13, TAKAHASHI Motonobu wrote:
> > [David Lee had earlier written:]
> >
> > >>    b)  Bundle iconv (or part) with samba?
> > >I'm not sure this would be a good solution.
> >
> > is the only reasonable solutions, I think.
> No, I don't think that including iconv() in samba in reasonable.  Why is
> it better to have iconv inside samba than outside?

Samba has always prided itself on its portablity to a wide range both of
systems and of managerial environments.  It has been careful to mimimise
the chain-of-prerequisite syndrome that has afflicted some other software.

Accordingly it seems we ought to try, so far as is reasonably practicable,
to work with the OS-provided "iconv()".  But _if_ we decide that Samba
really has to use GNU-iconv, in whole or part, then that decision by the
Samba Team (guided the participants in this thread) needs to be very well
defended.  And we then need to know how to handle the many sites which,
though having OS-iconv don't have GNU-iconv.

Technically, would "configure" screech to a halt, saying "You must first
install GNU-iconv"?

And what about those sites with a strict and cautious managerial/political
policy, where the sysadmin has already had to fight hard locally to get
Samba approved, only then to discover that s/he is back at square one and
now has to re-fight the same battle w.r.t. GNU-iconv.

Making GNU-iconv a pre-requisite might run the risk of losing many
potential users.

So _if_ (and that's a huge "if") we will require each site to have
GNU-iconv (in part or whole), _then_ (predicated on that "if"!) it might
well be advantageous, technically and politically, to bundle GNU-iconv (or
part thereof) with Samba.

But now let's step back from that brink.

Is there not some way that we could let Samba choose and use a wide
variety of "iconv"?  And that we provide some "fall back" options (and a
structure?) to handle as many of the common cases as often as possible.
Such as a code page to handle CP850<->UTF8 and/or CP850<->UCS-2LE, and
others that folk might contribute?  (Would this be re-inventing a simpler,
restricted GNU-iconv?)

See also Richard Sharpe's parallel thread about BSD.

(Are there some current Samba systems (appliance?) which may have neither
native-iconv, nor the scope for installing GNU-iconv?)


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