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Re: "ls" spacing between columns

From: Jim Meyering
Subject: Re: "ls" spacing between columns
Date: Sun, 11 Apr 2004 00:12:41 +0200

Jordan Russell <address@hidden> wrote:
> I've noticed that in the latest versions of "ls" (coreutils 5.x I
> guess) there's only a single space separating the user, group, and file
> size columns when the "-l" option is used. For example:
> -rw-------  1 root root 861286 Apr  9 15:10 maillog
> Personally, I find directory listings more difficult to read with those
> columns packed together so tightly. Would it be possible to make it two
> spaces instead (a la FreeBSD "ls")?
> -rw-------  1 root  root  861286 Apr  9 15:10 maillog

Yes, it's possible, if that behavior is controlled by a new option,
but it's hard to justify adding new options to ls.

Here are some guidelines for contributing code to the coreutils
package (previously known as the fileutils, textutils, and sh-utils).

Send patches. (send unified diffs, please -- i.e. diff -u format) If your
changes fix bugs, the bar is quite low in that I don't need much more
than to understand what the original problem was.  However, it helps
a lot if you can give me enough information to reproduce the problem.

On the other hand, if you're adding new features, please follow the
guidelines below:

  - convince me that this is a useful change/addition
      (if you're adding yet another option to ls, the above is pretty hard)

  - convince other people of the same thing
      One way to do that is to send mail to address@hidden
      (aka the gnu.utils.bug news group) including as much description
      and justification as you can.  Based on the feedback that generates,
      you may be able to convince me.

Once we agree the change is useful and get around to considering the
actual addition to the code, it helps if you do the following:

  - base your changes on the latest test release -- currently here:
      ftp://alpha.gnu.org/gnu/coreutils/; better still, you can base
      your changes on the latest code in CVS, here:

  - follow the guidelines in the GNU Coding Standards (standards.info)
      which is distributed as part of the autoconf package.

  - include changes to the texinfo documentation, and be sure to update
      the --help output.

  - finally, if the change is `significant' you'll have to send signed
      copyright assignment papers to the FSF

And you'll have to be patient and expect delays on my part.
It is unusual that I spend more than a few hours per week
on the packages I maintain.

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