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Re: POSIX says "rm -rf" isn't portable

From: Paul Eggert
Subject: Re: POSIX says "rm -rf" isn't portable
Date: 05 Jan 2004 15:27:23 -0800
User-agent: Gnus/5.09 (Gnus v5.9.0) Emacs/21.3

address@hidden (Paul Jarc) writes:

> I don't see any mention of this at
> <URL:>;

That URL refers to this one:

which says (under Guideline 6) "Each option and option-argument should
be a separate argument, except as noted in Utility Argument Syntax,
item (2)."  That exception doesn't apply here, so apparently -r and -f
should be separate arguments.  The last part of the page says "It is
recommended that all future utilities and applications use these
guidelines to enhance user portability."  Autoconf is an application,
so it sounds like POSIX is recommending that Autoconf should use "-r
-f" rather than "-rf".

However, on rereading the standard I see that Guideline 5 (on the same
page) says "Options without option-arguments should be accepted when
grouped behind one '-' delimiter", which obviously requires support
for "-rf".  So, either I misread Guideline 6 or the standard has a bug
(possibly both :-).

Sorry about the false alarm.  I have reverted the change to the
Autoconf documentation.

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