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bug#57604: [ef]grep usage -> POSIXLY_CORRECT?

From: Bruce Dubbs
Subject: bug#57604: [ef]grep usage -> POSIXLY_CORRECT?
Date: Sun, 11 Sep 2022 15:58:33 -0500
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:91.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/91.10.0

On 9/11/22 14:45, Sam wrote:

On 11 Sep 2022, at 21:41, Jim Meyering <jim@meyering.net> wrote:

On Thu, Sep 8, 2022 at 4:01 PM Karl Berry <karl@freefriends.org> wrote:
Hi Jim,

    Some must care about portability,

Certainly agreed. Even I do, sometimes :). But that does not mean
everyone needs to, in every situation.  As I said, I fail to understand
the benefit of making the warning unconditional.

So far as I can see, it's also against GNU principles, as I wrote,
though evidently you don't agree.

    and these warnings help them do a better job.

When people want extreme POSIX compliance, they should set
POSIXLY_CORRECT. That's what it's there for, and that's when I think the
warnings should be issued, as I said at the beginning.

But since Paul rejected that, ok, a different variable that lets us turn
them off (GREPWARNINGS=efgrepok or whatever) would at least provide some
palliation. I don't understand why you two are opposed to this simple

    As Gary mentioned above, it's easy to disable them.

Obviously it is trivial to edit the scripts or have a different version
in PATH for my own machine(s).  But those are no substitute for having a
supported way to use the distributed [ef]grep without warnings.

    I would argue that it is even more important to retain these
    stray-backslash warnings, because they tend to highlight real bugs.

"tend" being the key word there. But anyway, I see your point, and won't
argue that one further, since the efgrep warnings are what's causing me
the agony. -k

Hi Karl,

It would help if you could point to some malfunction.

We've hit one malfunction in Gentoo: https://bugs.gentoo.org/868384.

A program was using libgcrypt-config via CMake and ended up
failing because of the warnings.

(The program's usage is IMO ill-advised and it should use pkg-config,
but that's beside the point).

Consider the alternative.

Should we release a new version of grep that provides a documented way
(say a configure-time option) to disable a warning about a
long-deprecated feature so you don't have to manually tweak the
four-line fgrep and egrep scripts? AFAIK, these new warnings cause no

Wouldn't it be better to fix the roots of the problem rather than
piling another kludge on top to disable the annoying warnings? Think
about the next steps: when more and more distros cease to distribute
the egrep and fgrep crutches, what will people do? Eventually, we'll
all break the habit, at least in scripts. If you want to use it in
personal scripts or on the command line, create your wrapper script or

I honestly think at this point, it'd be better to just deem them GNU

After discussing this a bit in the LFS community, we tend to agree. For us in the 'from source' community, editing two short scripts is pretty trivial, but it really
shouldn't be needed.

  -- Bruce

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