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Re: plain test(1) with no arguments is not documented

From: Dan Jacobson
Subject: Re: plain test(1) with no arguments is not documented
Date: Thu, 09 Sep 2004 23:50:54 +0800

>> And, document plain
>> $ test -n
>> which acts differently than plain
>> $ test

Paul> That's already documented, as "test STRING".  -n is the STRING here.

The perfect "gotcha".

Paul> The details are in the manual: it's too much to put into the usage
Paul> string.

Perhaps put it here

       Besides the options below, a single argument is also allowed: `test'
    returns true if the argument is not null.  The argument can be any
    string, including strings like `-d', `-1', `--', `--help', and
    `--version' that most other programs would treat as options.
+   E.g., using test -n STRING with no STRING causes the -n itself to
+   become the STRING.

That ought to hammer it home.

Paul> The recursion is essential, no?  Sounds like more a matter of taste.

Well, with
$ help test
one can use each line as they appear on the screen.
But with
$ man test
one has to read many lines down first.
Imagine a school teacher who doesn't define whole numbers before
discussing complex numbers. "Never mind, I'll define them at the end."

Paul> My copy of Bash doesn't document the recursion at all, even though it
Paul> works.

It's rightly at the bottom of
$ help test

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