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Re: Observations: rm--help:Deleting bulk files using rm

From: The Wanderer
Subject: Re: Observations: rm--help:Deleting bulk files using rm
Date: Tue, 22 May 2007 07:35:53 -0400
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.7.12) Gecko/20050922

Eric Blake wrote:


According to Sathyanesan, Deepak on 5/21/2007 1:35 AM:

Error observed: -bash: /bin/rm: Argument list too long Command used
: rm *.xml

Not a bug, but a fundamental limitation of your OS.  You have asked a
FAQ: http://www.gnu.org/software/coreutils/faq/coreutils-faq.html#Argument-list-too-long

(Unrelated: wouldn't that technically be "an FAQ"? I've certainly never
heard the term pronounced to rhyme with "lack", but invariably as the
individual letters...)

alternative found: find . -name '*.xml' -print0 | xargs -0 rm

Indeed, that is one option that the FAQ recommended.

(Though, for the command to be really equivalent, it would also need - I
believe - '-maxdepth 1'.)

This does not, however, appear to answer his question as I parse it - in
paraphrase, "why does the --help output not provide this kind of

The answer as I understand it would be something along the lines of
"because find is orthogonal to rm and the output of a given program's
--help should be concerned only with that program", and indeed there may
be no better answer available. However, that does leave the fact that
your typical user will not have any better idea of where to look for
help with a program than its own built-in help - and indeed some of them
may not even get that far.

      The Wanderer

Warning: Simply because I argue an issue does not mean I agree with any
side of it.

Secrecy is the beginning of tyranny.

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