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[bug-diffutils] bug#16608: bug#16608: Bug#737180: diffutils: diff exit s

From: Paul Eggert
Subject: [bug-diffutils] bug#16608: bug#16608: Bug#737180: diffutils: diff exit status is 2 instead of 1 on binary files that differ (fwd)
Date: Fri, 31 Jan 2014 08:02:32 -0800
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:24.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/24.2.0

Santiago Vila wrote:
   Exit status is 0 if inputs are the same, 1 if different, 2 if trouble.

For Diffutils "trouble" means "the output doesn't correctly represent the difference between the two input files". Perhaps that's not what is wanted in this situation with a diff wrapper that supports some binary files but not others, but I expect that there are other uses where the current behavior is wanted. The users in question could change their wrapper to use "diff -a", or to look for the message they don't think is trouble and to ignore exit status 2 in that case.

In theory we could have different exit statuses for Diffutils, one for each sort of trouble, but I'm not sure that's a road we want to head down.

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