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schema length specifier (noidlen)

     On defining schemas I was wondering about the attribute
length specifier noidlen.  It seems obvious for cis and ces
types (max length in characters of the "string") but does it
have meaning for other types and if so what (on binary types
would it be number of bytes? on int would it be number of
digits?).  Also I am confused about performance questions
associated with it.  If one does not specify it what is the
maximum size for the atribute- likewise are all fields not
specified an array of max-default size or are they trimmed to
fit the data?  Also if you specify the size (just like with none
given) are all attributes an array of that size or is it trimmed
to fit?