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[bug #62230] Doc/behaviour mismatch for -printf %INVALID

From: raf
Subject: [bug #62230] Doc/behaviour mismatch for -printf %INVALID
Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2022 05:17:08 -0400 (EDT)


                 Summary: Doc/behaviour mismatch for -printf %INVALID
                 Project: findutils
            Submitted by: raf
            Submitted on: Tue 29 Mar 2022 09:17:07 AM UTC
                Category: find
                Severity: 3 - Normal
              Item Group: Wrong result
                  Status: None
                 Privacy: Public
             Assigned to: None
         Originator Name: raf
        Originator Email: 
             Open/Closed: Open
                 Release: 4.8.0
         Discussion Lock: Any
           Fixed Release: None



The find(1) manual entry says (in relation to -printf):

  "A `%' character followed by any other character is discarded, but the other
character is printed"

But that's not the case. find . -printf '%Q\n' prints "%Q" for each file.
According to the documentation, it should print "Q".

While the behaviour described in the documentation is arguably better than the
actual documentation (not as good as an error but still better), it would
probably be best to change the documentation to match the current behaviour.

A separate (not technically incorrect) point:

It also says:

  "A `%' at the end of the format argument causes undefined behaviour since
there is no following character.  In some locales, it  may  hide  your door
keys, while in others it may remove the final page from the novel you are

When in reality, it just detects the situation and terminates with this

  find: error: % at end of format string

While technically OK, the documentation could just tell the truth and say that
it is an error. I'm assuming that there aren't any actual locales where it
decides to not be an error. :-)


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