[rfk-dev] NKI filetype

David Griffith dgriffi at cs.csubak.edu
Thu Aug 20 18:41:14 PDT 2009

On Thu, 20 Aug 2009, Thomas Thurman wrote:

> There are now versions of robotfindskitten for various mobile devices
> (notably Android and Maemo).  I believe it would be a useful enhancement if
> these devices were capable of sharing lists of NKIs over Bluetooth.  There
> should be some amount of standardisation to allow sharing of NKIs between
> robotfindskitten implementations on differing platforms.
> Therefore, I propose that:
> 1) Any file received whose name ends in the four characters ".rfk" is
> presumed to be a NKI file.  The canonical name for NKI files is
> "non-kitten-items.rfk".

> 2) NKI files consist of zero or more NKI descriptions, separated by carriage
> returns and/or linefeeds.  There is no header and no magic number.

The ambiguity of EOL may be troublesome.  Instead of that, how about 
seperating NKIs from each other with a '%' character on a line by itself? 
Fortune files are formatted like this.

I personally find it annoying when a file can be identified only as "data" 
or "ASCII English text".  A magic header would be simple and enable rfk to 
distinguish between file format versions, if such a need arises.

> 3) NKI files are formatted in UTF-8.
> 4) Should a MIME type be needed for NKI files, it should be
> "application/x-rfk-nki".
> 5) On receipt of an NKI file, the implementation should compare it with its
> own set of NKIs, add any which exist in the incoming NKI file but not in the
> current set of NKIs, and discard all duplicates.
> 6) The implementation may ask the user for confirmation before doing this.
> If the file was received over Bluetooth, and if the platform already asks
> the user for confirmation before receiving Bluetooth files, this step is
> unnecessary.
> 7) If the NKI file was received over Bluetooth, it should then be deleted.
> Users should not have to deal directly with NKI files left lying around.

For 5, 6, and 7, this implies that the user has complete control over the 
list of NKIs.  At the very least, that violates Unix security standards. 
If you want to do this, have at least two NKI files: one for the system 
and one for the user to edit.  Multiple NKI files may be kept to 
categorize them.  For instance, /usr/share/games/rfk/offensive.rfk has 
risque NKIs that wouldn't ordinarily be used.

David Griffith
dgriffi at cs.csubak.edu

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