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Re: shouldn't prompt printing be smarter?

From: Francesco Montorsi
Subject: Re: shouldn't prompt printing be smarter?
Date: Sun, 01 Apr 2007 18:53:03 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla Thunderbird (X11/20070306)

Hi Bob,
        thanks for looking into this!

Bob Proulx ha scritto:
Francesco Montorsi wrote:
I think you all have encountered this: do a "cat somefile" where "somefile" is a text file _without_ a final newline. You'll see the prompt is printed both at the end of the text printed by 'cat' and then, also at the beginning of that same line.

I cannot reproduce your reported behavior.  I think there must also be
some interaction with your environment.  I only see the prompt once.
interesting. I've always seen that problem since I started using Linux some year ago and finally decided today to report it. I always thought it was a known issue not classified as "bug" or something similar.

I'm attaching a screenshot which should make it clear.

What is your PROMPT_COMMAND set to?
PROMPT_COMMAND='echo -ne "\033]0;${PWD/$HOME/~}\007"'

 If your PROMPT_COMMAND is also
printing out PS1 then that would possibly create the situation that
you describe. What is your PS1 set to?
PS1='${debian_chroot:+($debian_chroot)}\[\033[01;address@hidden:\[\033[01;34m\]\w\[\033[00m\]\$ '
what is it btw?

I think it would be great if bash before printing the prompt could do a simple check: if the cursor is not positioned in the first column of the terminal, then prepend the prompt with a newline.

I think that bash shouldn't try to ask the terminal where the cursor
is because that I believe would react badly on many terminals.

While use of 'cat' as a file dumper is certainly a time honored
tradition it is not the purpose of the program.  The purpose of the
cat program is to concatenate files and it does that exactly without
adding a newline to the end if one does not exist.

To avoid the problem with files without a trailing newline it is
better to use more or less or most or other pagers that are designed
to deal with terminal screens.  Use of cat to browse files is a
power-user mentality that says that you know what you are doing and
are driving the machine at that level.  Therefore when the file does
not have a trailing newline it is expected that you will deal with it.
ok, but this problem does not only happen with "cat". It happens with _any_ program which does not print a newline:

if test.c is:

#include <stdio.h>
int main()
        printf("Hello world without final newline");
        return 0;


address@hidden:~$ gcc -o test test.c
address@hidden:~$ ./test
address@hidden:~$ thout final address@hidden:~$

same weird behaviour I see when using cat with non-newline-ended files.

Interestly, if the main() just returns 0 and does not printf() anything, then the prompt is correctly printed...


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