normalization=formD still recommended?

All your general support questions for OpenZFS on OS X.

normalization=formD still recommended?

Postby crayonshin » Tue Jan 21, 2020 6:35 pm

I saw in the wiki that normalization=formD is still recommended on macOS or things like iTunes won't work.

Does this still apply even after Apple's move to APFS? I don't really understand this stuff all that well but my searching led me to believe that NFD was for HFS+ and APFS either doesn't do normalization or it's not NFD...not sure which is the case.

My main goal is to have a pool that's as cross-platform as possible. macOS, Linux, and FreeNAS in that order of importance to me.

I created a pool/dataset without normalization=formD and copied my "Music" library (iTunes replacement) over to it and I seemed to work.

Anyway, huge thanks Mr. Lundman for keeping ZFS on macOS not just alive, but up to date despite not having a legion of coders like ZOL!
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Re: normalization=formD still recommended?

Postby lundman » Tue Jan 21, 2020 9:32 pm

It's more about the various locales, utf8 etc. In that there are more than one way to do the same character, for example, "ö". It can be represented as one character "ö", or as umlaut-followed-by-"o". Apple prefers formD (decomposed) in HFS+, and if you didn't use formD, it might not "find" a word containing "ö", even though it totally is there, man. APFS actually changed preference, so we probably should look deeply into this yet again, to see what changed.

Generally, if you are happy to use 100% ascii, or happy to live with that it can get confused into thinking two items are different even though they look the same, you can use formC, or the default. Generally, English people probably won't tell the difference. Using ZFS with, say, Japanese though, it can be more noticeable.
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Re: normalization=formD still recommended?

Postby crayonshin » Tue Jan 21, 2020 10:34 pm

Well, I lived over there for four years a while back and am hoping for a more permanent move this year or next year so I guess formD's for me!

Thanks for the great explanation!
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