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Re: Automake 1.4l released

From: Tim Van Holder
Subject: Re: Automake 1.4l released
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2001 11:41:25 +0200

> However, it is also possible that cp *complaining* about the failure is 
> a bug in cp.  (Or did the fileutils people just *assume* that utime() 
> would always work, and if it didn't then that's a bigtime error and not 
> a silent error?)

I expect they did, based on the Unix assumption that if the file is
readable, they can copy it, and if they can copy it, they should be able
to set its timestamp (a perfectly reasonable assumption on Unixy systems).

Looking at the source for cp, if -p is given, it complains whenever one
of the preserve steps fails (whether it's utime, chown or chmod), the
only exception being if the chown call fails for non-root.  They figure
that if you specify -p, you want to know if that didn't work out the way
you planned it.  Arguably, that could be a warning instead of an error;
I've been bitten by similar problems under Linux (where emacs/dired will
say a copy or move failed when the only problem was that it couldn't
preserve the timestamp when copying to a vfat mount).

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