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Re: cp/mv: add -n option to not overwrite target (Ubuntu bug #229182)

From: Aaron Peterson
Subject: Re: cp/mv: add -n option to not overwrite target (Ubuntu bug #229182)
Date: Wed, 14 Jan 2009 20:44:33 -0800

On Wed, Jan 14, 2009 at 8:56 AM, Matthew Woehlke <----> wrote:

>>  -i -n  would ask, and then say, can't overwrite or similar.
> I don't think that makes sense... why are you asking if you won't do it
> anyway?

because if I put a -i in my alias, then I want it to ask every time!
Sometimes I want to follow along with what's happening, and I can't do
that if it doesn't prompt for each file.

Now -n -i  , shouldn't ask as one answer to your question

but -i -n should ask because I put -i there to follow thru with what
the cp/program is doing.  The message should be unobtrusive  and I'm
guessing that simplification is part of why everything is limited just
the last occurrence of mutually exclusive options.       However,
stderror and stdout go to stdout for me.. so is there another
stdmessage or something? I could do 3>stdout and get the messages that
I crave.

>> I believe that  might not be the posix way though...  Image magick
>> order matters...  actually in cp order matters... So order could
>> matter here too.
> The order of -f and -i already matters, as I understand, so I don't see the
> problem extending that to -n (especially as -f, -n and -i are all closely
> related).

Yes, the order matters the way it is being expected... -i -n would not
ask at all!  it would loose the interactivity that is why I would put
the thing in my alias!  If I didn't want the -i  I would have called
the program by it's full path /bin/cp

If I put cp= cp -n

Basically -f and -n are exclusive as far as I can tell... but the
posix rules don't make sense to me.. having -n in my alias cp=cp -n
then doing a cp -f which expands to cp -n -f    defeats the point of
me having cp -n in my alias.  If I didn't want cp to always be -n then
I could have made another alias for it.

Alas, to get the best behaviour  for everyone, current behavior would
have to be maintained, and have some sort of immutable notation, that
would error out if  cp -exclusive(-n) -f  occured.

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