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Re: Grep --directories option

From: Paul Eggert
Subject: Re: Grep --directories option
Date: Sun, 1 Jun 2003 16:38:49 -0700 (PDT)

> From: "Alfred M. Szmidt" <>
> CC:,,,,
> Date: Sat, 31 May 2003 12:55:51 +0200
>    OK, how about this solution instead?
> Whats wrong with reverting the behaviour to the way it was before,
> that is in 2.4.x?  Try to open the directory as a file, if that works
> continue, if it doesn't print an error message.

As I understand it, that's roughly what I'm proposing, except that I'm
suggesting that the diagnostic for the troublesome case be changed.
grep 2.4.2 reported something like this:

$ grep pattern dir
grep: dir: Is a directory

whereas I'm suggesting something more like this:

$ grep pattern dir
grep: dir: skipping unreadable directory

The point is that we're trying to improve the diagnostic so that
things are clearer to less-experienced users.

Perhaps a better message could be suggested, since the directory's
read-permission is normally enable, so in some sense the directory is
readable -- you just can't apply 'read()' to it.  Perhaps something
like this instead?

$ grep pattern dir
grep: dir: directory cannot be read as a file

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