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From Radovan Semancik <>
Subject Re: Binary values and humanRedable flag
Date Mon, 10 Aug 2015 11:33:27 GMT
On 08/10/2015 12:42 PM, Emmanuel L├ęcharny wrote:
> There is no flag that says an Attribute is H-R or not. The information 
> is provided in RFC 22524.3.2 
> <>

Hmm, I was code for parsing of "X-NOT-HUMAN-READABLE" so I thought that 
it might be caused by this. Thanks for clarification. Anyway, the 
strange thing is that the syntax appears 
to be human readable.
>> But then jpegPhoto is obviously binary. When I try to modify it with
>> BinaryValue it ends up with:
>> ERROR (o.a.d.api.ldap.model.entry.DefaultAttribute): ERR_04451 The
>> value must be a String, as its AttributeType is H/R
>> I'm doing the equivalent of attribute.add(new BinaryValue(bytes));
> Hmmm... Do you have the full code as a test I can run on my machine ?

Try this:

             LdapNetworkConnection conn = new 
LdapNetworkConnection("localhost", 10389);
             DefaultSchemaLoader schemaLoader;
                 schemaLoader = new DefaultSchemaLoader(conn, true);
             DefaultSchemaManager schemaManager = new 
             AttributeType jpegPhotoAttributeType = 
             System.out.println("jpegPhoto AttributeType = 
             LdapSyntax syntax = jpegPhotoAttributeType.getSyntax();
             System.out.println("jpegPhoto syntax = "+syntax);
             System.out.println("jpegPhoto syntax H/R = 

But there is a very strange thing going on. Trying it with OpenDJ (2.6) 
I got this:

jpegPhoto AttributeType = attributetype ( 0.9.2342.19200300.100.1.60 
NAME 'jpegPhoto'
     DESC 'a JPEG image'
     USAGE userApplications )
jpegPhoto syntax = ldapsyntax (
     DESC 'JPEG'
     X-NOT-HUMAN-READABLE 'false' )
jpegPhoto syntax H/R = true

But running it with OpenLDAP (2.4.31) I got this:

jpegPhoto AttributeType = attributetype ( 0.9.2342.19200300.100.1.60 
NAME 'jpegPhoto'
     DESC 'RFC2798: a JPEG image'
     USAGE userApplications )
jpegPhoto syntax = ldapsyntax (
     DESC 'JPEG'
     X-NOT-HUMAN-READABLE 'true' )
jpegPhoto syntax H/R = false

The attribute schema definition is almost identical:

attributeTypes: ( 0.9.2342.19200300.100.1.60 NAME 'jpegPhoto' DESC 'a 
JPEG ima
  ge' SYNTAX X-ORIGIN 'RFC 2798' )

attributeTypes: ( 0.9.2342.19200300.100.1.60 NAME 'jpegPhoto' DESC 
'RFC2798: a
   JPEG image' SYNTAX )

Could the X-ORIGIN make a difference here?

>> And one related remark. The add( Value<?>... vals ) method in
>> DefaultAttribute is not very convenient to use and still keep a good
>> error reporting. E.g. in the above case it will not throw any error,
>> just returns zero. This is enough to detect that there was an error
>> (not very convenient though). But the reason why the attribute cannot
>> be added is lost. I cannot report back to the higher layers anything
>> better than "failed to add foo to bar". But the user will not know
>> what was the reason.
> Yes, that's true. the rational is that we do a best effort to inject
> values correctly, converting them on the fly.
> Note that this H-R flag itself is stupid. It was added 12 years ago as a
> way to follow teh RFC, but as a matter of fact, the Syntax itself
> already drives the type of data we can store in an Attribute. I made it
> even more complex by trying to use Generics. Now, we have those
> StringValue and BinaryValue all over the code.
> Ideally, we should not have to care about what we store, and always
> consider the stored values as byte[]. OTOH, it's not convenient when we
> want to manipulate values as String, as converting them over and over
> from byte[] to Strings is costly (epecially in the server). But I do
> think we went way to far here. This conversion should be done internally
> once, and that's it. It would save us a hell lot of time, and would make
> the APi more comfortable to use.

I tend to agree. Always storing the value as binary seems to be good idea.

I'm working on a similar problem with Novell/NetIQ eDirectory. eDir has 
a binary GUID. But the API seems to try to interpret it as String. As it 
contains some invalid UTF codes it completely breaks the value and there 
is no way how to fix this on the API client side. Storing the value as 
binary will solve this kind of issues. This specific eDir GUID problem 
is probably my fault as the Studio seems to work with the GUID without 
any problems. I'll report on that later when I investigate it. Anyway, 
the API is currently not very intuitive with the BinaryValue, 
StringValue and H/R flags. Simplification will be a great help for new 
API users.

Radovan Semancik
Software Architect

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