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bug#10282: change in behavior of du with multiple arguments (commit efe5

From: Jim Meyering
Subject: bug#10282: change in behavior of du with multiple arguments (commit efe53cc)
Date: Tue, 13 Dec 2011 08:09:08 +0100

Paul Eggert wrote:

> On 12/12/11 14:58, Eric Blake wrote:
>> "Files with multiple links shall be counted and written for only one
>> entry. The directory entry that is selected in the report is unspecified."
> Yes, that's partly what motivates the current GNU du behavior:
> the idea is to implement this notion consistently (historical
> 'du' implementations do not).
>> But even historically, command line arguments were always listed, even
>> if they are otherwise multiple links.
> I suppose we could change GNU 'du' to output "0 X" for a command-line
> argument X that's already been seen.

This seems sensible.

> This wouldn't address the problem
> perceived by the original poster, though.  And it's a glitch from the
> point of view of consistency.

I agree that printing "0 X" for these seems inconsistent with the
elision mandated for the second and subsequent encounter of a file,
but I suppose command line arguments are intrinsically different
enough that handling them specially makes sense.  Maybe even as
the default.

> Perhaps 'du' needs a new option to control what to do with
> files that 'du' has already seen before. something that
> generalizes --count-links.

That sounds like a good way to do it.
Anyone interested?

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