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[bug #51711] non-helping error output with find

From: anonymous
Subject: [bug #51711] non-helping error output with find
Date: Mon, 28 Aug 2017 05:38:16 -0400 (EDT)
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Ubuntu; Linux x86_64; rv:38.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/38.0

Follow-up Comment #5, bug #51711 (project findutils):

Dale wrote :
As far as I can tell, the error message means, "Syntactically, this is a
situation where a predicate must occur, but this argument is not a predicate.
It looks like what would happen if you tried to specify a directory, but
didn't put it in front."

I don't understand what you want to say. I'm not totally sure about the term
predicate: is "-name" a predicate? Where must a predicate occur,
where it doesn't in my example? For the second and third search pattern?

Dale wrote:
You write, "How could one know, that options like "-name" can
only have one name?" Well, the documentation says that -name can have
only one argument. 

I didn't find the place, where it does. What I found in man find was '-name
pattern' instead of 'patterns', but this is not a clear statement imo. But
also: in 'info find', node 'Primary Index' I fond '-name  Base name patterns'
with s!

Dale wrote:
The problem is amplified by the fact that what you wrote (.c) isn't what find
saw ... but that is actually a central feature of all Unx-style shells -- the
expansion of non-escaped wildcards (but only when they match at least one
existing file). Like smoking a cigar in a fireworks store, it works fine as
long as you're constantly aware of it. 

I am aware of the problem of shell globbing but don't understand,what you
write. For example, "that what you wrote (.c) isn't what find saw"
was posted but not written by me, since I copied it from `man find'.

Dale wrote:
It would probably be better if the message didn't assume you were trying to
specify a directory but rather explained the problem literally. Something like
"Argument 4 is 'fax2.c', following 'find . -name fax1.c', but it is not
used as an argument by the preceding predicate and directories to be searched
must appear before all predicates."

I had some problems understanding your sentence, but now I think I understand
it and agree with you.


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