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bug#17156: [PATCH 2/5] Revert conversion to shell scripts

From: Paul Eggert
Subject: bug#17156: [PATCH 2/5] Revert conversion to shell scripts
Date: Sat, 05 Apr 2014 15:57:27 -0700
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:24.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/24.4.0

Paolo Bonzini wrote:
I'm not sure how this is not satisfied by the current code though.

I assume "current code" refers to the code that had egrep and fgrep executables (not shell scripts), i.e., commit d25bebd (2005-11-09) through commit 0995fc1 (2014-03-23).

Here's an example of why that approach made maintenance tricky. When Norihiro changed fgrep to use the grep matcher (see Bug#16823), his patch would have broken fgrep -i due to code in main.c that did a STREQ (matcher, "fgrep") to see whether fixed matching was in effect -- this was incorrect when the executable was 'fgrep'. I vaguely recall some other subtle bugs in the area and it was enough for me to throw up my hands and say "let's go back to the old way of doing things -- that's easier to maintain and more reliable".

If there's a porting problem with the new (i.e., the pre-2005) approach, there should be a way to fix the problem without having to cause maintenance hassles with grep proper.

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