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leading "--" changes whether `~' is expanded?

From: Karl Kleinpaste
Subject: leading "--" changes whether `~' is expanded?
Date: 16 May 2001 09:00:24 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.090004 (Oort Gnus v0.04) XEmacs/21.4 (Developer-Friendly Unix APIs)

This question arose on the Gnus development list, in debugging why
./configure's invocation was not behaving as expected.

[1546] [08:51:55] cinnamon:~> echo $BASH_VERSION
[1546] [08:51:56] cinnamon:~> echo ./configure prefix=~karl
./configure prefix=/home/karl
[1547] [08:52:03] cinnamon:~> echo ./configure --prefix=~karl
./configure --prefix=~karl

The difference is only in whether the "--" is part of the last
argument.  It was further observed that 1.14 expands the `~'
regardless of the presence of "--".

Any reason why this is the case?  It doesn't seem (from reading the
bash 2.05 manual page) that the conception of a "word" in Tilde
Expansion should be affected by the dashes.

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