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When a component is saved, all [extra] values that are an empty string get discarded. A potential problem with this is if the component default for that field is not an empty string and the input is a textfield. In that case, if the user clears the textfield (assuming the field is not required) and saves the component, the empty string they entered will not get saved, and upon returning to the edit form they will find the default value again populating that field instead of the empty string they tried to save.
This patch (against 4.x) fixes this problem and reduces the size of data stored in sql by comparing values against the defaults instead of comparing them against an empty string.