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bug#7365: stat bug: %Z appends .000000000

From: IgnorantGuru
Subject: bug#7365: stat bug: %Z appends .000000000
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 2010 11:24:01 -0700

Thanks for the explanation - I definitely think maintaining backward 
compatibility is a better approach.  There is far too much breakage of software 
in linux as it is.

On Wed, 10 Nov 2010 11:02:30 -0700
Eric Blake <address@hidden> wrote:

> On 11/10/2010 07:59 AM, IgnorantGuru wrote:
> > $ stat -c %Z examplefile 
> > 1289397609.000000000
> > 
> > stat (GNU coreutils) 8.6 installed from Arch Linux repos, executing
> > in a bash shell.
> > 
> > This behavior changed recently - didn't used to have the .000000000
> > which breaks scripts that use stat.  eg line 297: ((:
> > 1289301692.000000000: syntax error: invalid arithmetic operator
> > (error token is ".000000000")
> Technically, this is not a bug, since it was documented in NEWS:
>   stat now outputs the full sub-second resolution for the atime,
>   mtime, and ctime values since the Epoch, when using the %X, %Y, and
>   %Z directives of the --format option.  This matches the fact that
>   %x, %y, and %z were already doing so for the human-readable variant.
> However, it has already been discussed (extensively!) on this list
> that it was somewhat an undesirable change, so for the
> soon-to-be-released 8.7, the behavior is changing yet again:
> http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/bug-coreutils/2010-11/msg00076.html
>   stat's %X, %Y, and %Z directives once again print only the integer
>   part of seconds since the epoch.  This reverts a change from
>   coreutils-8.6, that was deemed unnecessarily disruptive.  To obtain
>   a full resolution time stamp for %X, use %.X; if you want (say) just
>   3 fractional digits, use %.3X.  Likewise for %Y and %Z.
>   stat's new %W format directive would print floating point seconds.
>   However, with the above change to %X, %Y and %Z, we've made %W work
>   the same way as the others.
> so that %Z will once again omit nanoseconds, %.Z will print 9
> nanoseconds, %#.Z will print as many non-zero fractional seconds as
> supported by the fs, and %#.3Z will truncate to milliseconds.

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