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Fwd: Re: [address@hidden: Grep --directories option]

From: David Sugar
Subject: Fwd: Re: [address@hidden: Grep --directories option]
Date: Fri, 30 May 2003 09:29:28 -0400
User-agent: KMail/1.5

--- Begin Message --- Subject: Re: [address@hidden: Grep --directories option] Date: Fri, 30 May 2003 07:26:38 -0400 User-agent: KMail/1.5
I would argue this differently.  If we accept that grep is a "standard" 
utility, and in fact the expected behavior of grep in many areas is defined 
as a "posix" spec utility, then there is some obligation to at minimum meet 
this spec correctly, just as gcc does not have a different implimentation of 
C syntax (they would be considered bugs...), etc.  In this case, I am not 
sure if what is described is an aspect of grep that is considered or 
documented as a "standard" behavior, or simply undefined where gnu has chosen 
an implimentation that happens to be different from some other arbitrary 
chosen implimentation.  If the former is true, I would consider it a 
potential bug in GNU, and if the latter is true, then I think "5.5" does 
apply.  It is also possible that the GNU behavior for grep is the one that is 
"correct" and that these other systems are not.

In general I agree it is important that GNU software work well on GNU systems, 
and while it may be useful that they can be used on non-GNU systems, this is 
not an expressed goal.  Of course, our most important goal is in offering 
freedom.  As such, one is free to seperately maintain and distribute a 
changed or altered version if that is what one wishes to get a different or 
optimized behavior, for example for use on a specific configuration of GNU 
(which is what Debian GNU/Linux maintainers do) or on non-GNU systems.

On Friday 30 May 2003 06:19 am, Robert Millan wrote:
> hi!
> From: Stepan Kasal <>:
> > I'd like to ask you how should grep behave if it encounters a directory
> > as an argument on the command line.
> > [...]
> > The behaviour is controlled by the --directories option.
> > There are three possible values:
> >
> > read:       try to read the directory as if it was regular file.
> > [...]
> > skip:       silently ignore directory parameters
> > recurse: recurse through them, equivalent to -r or --recurse.
> > [...]
> >
> > Well, I'd like to change the default to ``skip'' now.
> > We don't have to follow the Unix tradition that closely; after all GNU
> > is not Unix ;-)
> you're asking to remove a feature that works on GNU, in order to avoid
> an error message for other systems.
> please see what the GNU Coding Standards (sec 5.5) say about this:
> "The primary purpose of GNU software is to run on top of the GNU kernel,
> compiled with the GNU C compiler, on various types of CPU."
> portability is always nice, but it's silly for the GNU project, which is
> the project to develop an operating system, to optimise its own tools for
> other systems (even though variants of GNU, like GNU/Linux or GNU/FreeBSD)
> at the cost of losing features for GNU itself.

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