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Re: [PATCH]: ls: add --user-format option for user defined format

From: Pádraig Brady
Subject: Re: [PATCH]: ls: add --user-format option for user defined format
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2008 14:09:49 +0000
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20071008)

Jim Meyering wrote:
> Actually, ever since find got its -printf option, I've thought of
> adding the same to ls.  But the size of the code addition as well as
> the logistics (this was before gnulib) were off-putting, not to mention
> the fact that this is ls, after all.  That combined to make the overall
> cost/benefit ratio appear way too high.
> Here are my questions:
>   - is it worthwhile to add a --printf option to ls?
>       I don't like the --user-format name)
>   - if so, should it use use a find -printf-compatible format string
>       or one compatible to stat --printf?  Either way, it'll need a few
>       extensions.

So there would be 3 large interfaces to try and
find commonalities in and maintain.

> I'm still on the fence.  On the one hand, I don't like to bloat
> ls further, even if it ends up using code that's shared with GNU find.
> On the other, I understand and sympathize with the desire to make ls
> output more useful/readable.
> Finally, if investing in ls, I'd rather invest in converting it to use
> fts for its hierarchy traversal.

I'm on the fence too, but more on the bottom rung.
I don't think the interface pollution cost to the benefit gained is worth it.
ls -l has good defaults for me. Infrequently I want other info
which other options to ls, or stat provide already.

I'm also reminded of http://examples.oreilly.com/upt2/#sls
The main use case there is for processing by scripts,
which find --printf is sufficient for now.

Going forward I would add extra formats to `find --printf`,
with a view to keeping them in sync with `stat --printf`.


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