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Re: chmod and permission nomenclature

From: Bob Proulx
Subject: Re: chmod and permission nomenclature
Date: Thu, 30 May 2002 17:14:51 -0600
User-agent: Mutt/1.3.28i

> I get confused between chmods "u" for 'owner' not 'user', and "o" for 'user'
> not 'owner'!
> I can go for months working in my multi-user apps without having to change
> any file perms or doing much else in the OS (I love the reliability) - but
> when I do come to do something I struggle to remember many commands. This is
> made worse when there is such ambiguity in a command that has such
> importance for security. I often find I've  entered 'chmod u...' thinking I
> was changing 'user' perms.

But 'chmod u...' would be changing user permissions!  So it sounds to
me like you are doing what you said you wanted.  For example:

  chmod u+w file

> I know the u/g/o options are part of the cherished heritage, and no doubt to

Actually u/g/o are the new-fangled way of doing things.  The
traditional method would be to use the octal mappings of bits to file
modes.  But that breaks down when you don't have an exact match to
some filesystems.  Using symbolic names allows filesystems to do some
mapping to make appropriate choices.  It allows incrementally changing
bits.  Here is the 'cherished heritage' method, deprecated.

  chmod 0644 file

> most professionals this is a non-issue, but in the interests of furthering
> the wider usage and popularity of *nix, is there any possibility that a
> change could be considered ?  eg:-
> 'o' for owner
> 'g' for group
> 'e' for 'everyone else'

Or how about:
  'm' for me
  't' for my team
  'w' for the world

Obviously I am having some fun here.  Sorry about that.  I could not
resist.  As you can see there are endless different ways to split that
up.  Is User, Group, Other really so bad?

> This could be done in two stages:-
> a) introduce the new 'e' = 'everyone else' option and depracate 'o' for
> 'other users'
> b) later, after a period of adjustment, re-introduce 'o' for 'owner' and
> depracate 'u'.

Since they are still in the process of converting away from the
numbers and over to the symbolic names I think you will find it an
uphill battle to get people to change yet again.  And besides, to me
anyway, the names user, group, other really makes more sense to me
than owner, group, everyone.  Blech.  :-)


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