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Re: dos2unix treatment of formfeeds

From: Erwin Waterlander
Subject: Re: dos2unix treatment of formfeeds
Date: Sun, 21 Nov 2010 10:14:52 +0100
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Ben Pfaff schreef, Op 20-11-2010 5:34:
Hi.  Harry Thijssen, a user of GNU PSPP (software that I
maintain), wrote to me that dos2unix reported that some of the
text files included with PSPP are binary instead of text.  I took
a look at the problem and discovered that dos2unix treats the
ASCII FF (formfeed) character as an indication that a file is
binary.  Formfeeds are fairly common in GNU software because of
the following paragraph in the GNU coding standards:

        Please use formfeed characters (control-L) to divide the
     program into pages at logical places (but not within a
     function).  It does not matter just how long the pages are,
     since they do not have to fit on a printed page.  The
     formfeeds should appear alone on lines by themselves.

I'm appending a patch that changes dos2unix to consider formfeeds
a valid character in text files.  I hope that you will consider
applying it or an equivalent in an upcoming dos2unix release.



Hi Ben,

I have seen this too a few times, but I didn't know that form feeds are part of GNU coding standards. I assumed that use of form feed control characters is not common, so I took no risk and didn't make an exception for form feeds. There is always the option -f to force conversion.

I include your patch in the next dos2unix version. I don't think there is a big risk that a binary file is accidentally seen as text file with this extra exception. Is it OK to mention your name and/or email address in the ChangeLog? Thanks for the patch.

best regards,

Erwin Waterlander

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