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bug#10819: [BUG][RM]

From: Eric Blake
Subject: bug#10819: [BUG][RM]
Date: Thu, 16 Feb 2012 08:28:21 -0700
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:10.0) Gecko/20120131 Thunderbird/10.0

On 02/16/2012 03:59 AM, Jim Meyering wrote:
>> I think Davide's point is not about the # comment ... rm won't see
>> that on argv anyway. The point is that 'rm -f' does not complain about
>> missing operands while 'rm' does:
>>   $ rm
>>   rm: missing operand
>>   Try `rm --help' for more information.
>>   $ rm -f
>>   $
>> According to the info, '-f' just silences error messages for files
>> which do not exist (and never to prompt for confirmation), but why
>> should it also affect the "missing operand" message?
> Two reasons:
>  - that's what rm -f has always done
>  - because that's more useful.  Otherwise, "rm -rf $file_list" would
>    have to be wrapped in code to handle specially the case in which
>    $file_list is empty.

You can always use 'rm -rf dummy $file_list' without having to check for
whether $file_list is empty, but yes, that is the primary reasoning why
-f with no options behaves differently than any other case with no options.

FYI: I just opened a POSIX bug report, asking that this usage be
codified (since everyone that I tested already does it):

Eric Blake   address@hidden    +1-919-301-3266
Libvirt virtualization library http://libvirt.org

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