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Re: du and wc should be able to read arguments from a file

From: Bernd Jendrissek
Subject: Re: du and wc should be able to read arguments from a file
Date: Fri, 19 Sep 2003 17:34:33 +0200

Hash: SHA1

On Fri, Sep 19, 2003 at 09:12:05AM -0600, Bob Proulx wrote:
> Bernd Jendrissek wrote:
> > Jim Meyering wrote:
> > > If the format is simply one file name per line, then what about
> > > files with names containing a newline?
> > > 
> > > One solution is to require that newlines and backslashes be
> > > backslash-escaped.  Another is simply to require that file names
> > > be NUL (aka '\0') separated, like what find's -print0 option would
> > > output.  In the interests of keeping things simple, I'm leaning
> > > toward the latter.
> > 
> > And even if the list of filenames is \n-separated to begin with, you can
> > always pipe that through tr '\n' '\0'.
> Actually, no.  If the filename contained a newline then converting
> that newline to a null would no longer match the original filename.

Yes, and such filenames wouldn't be understood anyway, even if the next
program in the pipeline (ls, wc, du) assumed \n-separated lines.  All
I'm saying is that if you have to choose, choose \0.  Otherwise, you'd
have completely non-doable commands (besides invoking GCC).

Let's say you have a bunch of files, some of which contain \n in their
names.  So you use find to generate a list.  How do you deal with those
problem files?  You can use -print0, but then if wc wants \n-separated
lines, you'd try to use tr and find that it just ambiguates the
different kinds of \n - charset for filenames and filename separators.

Luckily, none of du, ls or wc use -0, so these tools could just adopt
xargs's way of doing it: user chooses with -0 or not- -0.

Personally, I don't like the idea of wanting backslash-escaped filenames
on bit.

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