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Re: feature request: configurable history timestamps

From: Chet Ramey
Subject: Re: feature request: configurable history timestamps
Date: Sat, 17 Dec 2011 13:26:43 -0500
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10.6; rv:8.0) Gecko/20111105 Thunderbird/8.0

On 12/11/11 1:13 AM, Alex Shinn wrote:

> I had initially been confused by the HISTTIMEFORMAT
> variable thinking it could be used to change what was
> written to the history file, rather than the output of the
> history command.
> Obviously it would have to be a separate variable, but
> the ability to add extra info to the history file would be
> very useful to me.  Given the pid and pwd you can
> effectively track sessions, and know where you invoked
> a command in addition to when.
> As a simple change, just statically appending the bash
> pid such that the history file looks like:
>   #1323582935 217
>   command
> would enable constructing a session and inferring the
> pwd by checking for cd/pushd/popd commands (assuming
> no other aliases or scripts are used to chdir).

One question is whether or not this would be of general interest, since
any user-specified text to append to the timestamp would have to come
after the timestamp and be more-or-less ignored by the history code proper.
(and the timestamp would have to be inserted unconditionally).  What's the
use case?  Third-party forensics?  You can already use HISTFILE to break
out history by session, so this would only be worth it if you insisted on
using a single history file for all shell sessions.

I don't think it would be too tough to make the history code behave as it
does today if there were extra text following the timestamp; strtol(3) is
pretty well-behaved.  But is it worth the work?

``The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne.'' - Chaucer
                 ``Ars longa, vita brevis'' - Hippocrates
Chet Ramey, ITS, CWRU    address@hidden    http://cnswww.cns.cwru.edu/~chet/

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