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Re: param expansion with single-character special vars in the environmen

From: Dan Douglas
Subject: Re: param expansion with single-character special vars in the environment
Date: Wed, 4 May 2016 17:12:15 -0500

On Wed, May 4, 2016 at 2:37 PM, Piotr Grzybowski <address@hidden> wrote:
> On 4 May 2016, at 17:51, Chet Ramey wrote:
>> The issue I'm thinking about currently is whether or not to allow nameref
>> variables to have numeric (integer) values.  bash-4.3 didn't allow those
>> values to be expanded, but allowed them to be assigned.  It doesn't seem
>> harmful to change the error to assignment time.
> I vote for error at assignment, whats the point of allowing pointless 
> assignment?

Since almost all bash errors are runtime errors that you might never
hit until something you didn't expect gets passed the wrong value,
errors (especially fatal errors) that might sound like a good idea at
first end up being totally pathological. You end up having to manually
test and validate all inputs to all functions whose callers aren't
strictly controlled, or add redirects to hide warning messages for
non-fatal errors. There are even cases where it's useful to allow or
at least ignore invalid names. If this were a language where I could
get a compiler error caught through static analysis then it would be a
different story.

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