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Support spaces in filenames

From: Jos Backus
Subject: Support spaces in filenames
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2005 11:45:25 -0800
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.6i

I'm wondering if it would be possible to revisit the decision not to support
blanks in filenames. The last time this issue came up and an alternate
separator character was suggested (`^'), the argument against it was that it
would exclude this character from being used in filenames. I would counter
this argument by saying that it is already unlikely that this character is
used in filenames, as the `^' symbol is the pipe symbol in old sh, and is used
in various shells to do csh-style substitution.

But rather than argue this position again I propose that instead we use the
Tab character to separate the fields. Tabs are much much less likely to occur
in filenames, in fact in my 20 years of UNIX use I have yet to come across a
valid use of a Tab character in a filename, whereas the use of spaces seems to
be ubiquitous these days. It would seem to be a good engineering tradeoff to
support spaces in filenames versus Tabs in filenames, as the former occur
frequently and the latter I daresay never. This change would greatly increase
the usability of global, and programmers everywhere would benefit.

So I ask you: please reconsider making this change. Thank you.

Jos Backus                       _/  _/_/_/      Sunnyvale, CA
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jos at catnook.com        _/_/   _/_/_/          require 'std/disclaimer'

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