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Re: chown should catch null owner:group

From: Eric Blake
Subject: Re: chown should catch null owner:group
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2008 13:08:01 -0700
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According to address@hidden on 2/18/2008 11:56 AM:
| LW> "chown -R ." gave an error
| Try
| DJ> chown -R . file
| which should emit
| "Holmes, you think you are changing the owner of FILE to be the same
| as the owner of ".", but you have actually typed something else (-R
| means recursive) which is an absolute error, about which the new
| improved chown command will hereby exit 1".

But why should it be an absolute error?  We have already pointed out to
you that resetting to defaults is not necessarily a no-op, therefore,
who's to say that we can gratuitously break someone else's usage where
they depended on this command to actually do something?  You have to give
more arguments why your usage pattern should warrant a warning, because I
see no inherent reason why using the tool to reset the default group is
wrong.  And meanwhile, you should get used to using long options, since
they aren't as ambiguous (not to mention that in general across the
coreutils, tools that supply -R generally mean recursive).  In general,
the coreutils should NOT make assumptions that you meant --reference when
you typed -R - you get what you typed.  But ultimately, since this problem
doesn't seem to bother anyone else, you'll get more results if you provide
a patch than if you just complain.

- --
Don't work too hard, make some time for fun as well!

Eric Blake             address@hidden
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