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'userpassword' handling in backend


the way the userpassword is handled seems to inconsistent.  If an entry is
added with the 'userpassword' attribute then the value is encoded in
base64 before being passed to back-perl. This is done in entry2str()
function.  If the 'userpassword' is being set with an ldapmodify, then the
value is not encoded before being passed to the backend.
My question is, what are the benefits of base64 encoding the userpassword
attribute?  If it is done with the ldapadd, shouldn't be done with the
ldapmod as well?