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Re: [bug-gnulib] Re: patch: gnulib-tool --symlink and --aux-dir

From: Karl Berry
Subject: Re: [bug-gnulib] Re: patch: gnulib-tool --symlink and --aux-dir
Date: Tue, 19 Apr 2005 11:05:17 -0400

    verbose option must "be spelled precisely `--verbose'

I interpret this as meaning "--verbose" must be accepted, not that
abbreviations like --verb must be rejected.  (That would be bizarre.)

    Perhaps it is time to ask for an update to the GNU coding
    standards on option abbreviations?

I confess I don't see a need to change the standards.

In practice, most GNU (C) programs use getopt_long[_only], and that
allows unambiguous abbreviations, as you say.  Whether every program
(ie, script) has to go to the trouble of allowing them, I am somewhat
doubtful.  It's a pain to do and increases the maintenance burden.

Also, although abbreviations are fine for interactive use, they wouldn't
be a good thing to recommend using in scripts or anywhere
semi-permanent, since a new version may come along which makes an
abbreviation ambiguous.

In the case of gnulib-tool, since some abbreviations are accepted, --sym
might as well be too, IMHO -- even though it is an ambiguous
abbreviation :).


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