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Re: RE : RE : rm -f core cause some troubles

From: Eric Blake
Subject: Re: RE : RE : rm -f core cause some troubles
Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2012 06:36:14 -0700
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On 12/08/2012 05:16 PM, Jeffrey Walton wrote:
> Agreed. Before anything, the program has to be correct. Trying to
> remove a directory named 'core' does not follow the intention
> (informally 'specification') of removing crash dump files.

Naming a directory 'core' is dangerous and non-portable, because the
name 'core' is traditionally reserved for core dumps.  Similarly, naming
a directory 'aux' is dangerous and non-portable, because the name 'aux'
opens a special device on Windows.  Similarly, naming two files with a
case-sensitive clash is unsupported.  In short, autoconf sticks with the
philosophy that it is better for you to name your files portably than
for autoconf to bend over backward to special case when those
non-portable names exist on platforms where they happen to work, but
will fall apart on platforms where they do not work.

> Special rules (i.e., no 'core' directories) that can only be found by
> grepping mailing lists also seems to be less than desirable.

If you think we need to more fully document that both 'core' and 'aux'
are recommended to be avoided in your project, patches are welcome.

> What happens if a user aliases `rm` to `rm -rf`?

Precisely why we are suggesting that you should fix your package to
avoid 'core' as a directory, and not that we fix 'autoconf' to bend over
backwards to support this fringe case.

Eric Blake   eblake redhat com    +1-919-301-3266
Libvirt virtualization library

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