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Re: portability of xargs

From: Mike Frysinger
Subject: Re: portability of xargs
Date: Tue, 15 Feb 2022 22:45:48 -0500

On 15 Feb 2022 08:29, Bob Friesenhahn wrote:
> A problem with xargs is that without using the GNU -O or --null 
> argument and null-terminated arguments, file names containing spaces 
> won't be handled properly.  File names containing spaces is an issue 
> for Autotools in general.  This is again an issue under Microsoft 
> Windows where users typically are provided with directory paths which 
> contain a space and they need to take additional administrative 
> measures in order to provide directory paths which work with 
> Autotools.

there's a few related issues here.  i'm not trying to fix everything, just
not actively make the current situation worse.

Automake fundamentally uses whitespace delimited variables, so there's no
support for installing or building a file that has spaces in its name.

building in a directory that has spaces is a bit more tractable.

installing/uninstalling to a directory that has spaces is also a bit more
tractable.  and i think we do an OK job here (by quoting $DESTDIR and
related path expansions).

so wrt xargs usage in uninstall, since we have no way of supporting files
themselves with spaces, it's not an issue.  the code will cd to the base
path first, and then delete things from there (including letting the
shell do globs expansion before calling the underlying tool).

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