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Re: [bug-inetutils] ping, --count=NUMBER

From: Alfred M. Szmidt
Subject: Re: [bug-inetutils] ping, --count=NUMBER
Date: Thu, 21 May 2009 01:45:00 -0400

   With long options, both `--opt=arg' and `--opt arg' are valid constructs.

I could have sworn that I just tried that and it didn't work for me!

   Users must always think first, that's a good rule :^) That's not a


   The problem with `-c', as I see it, is that we are changing the
   behavior of a traditional option that was in ping from the days of
   its inception and many people had already made their habits of
   using it.

While this is sometimes a good reason to stick with currennt
behaviour, it is sometimes better to break old behaviour to make
things better.  Think of `sort -2' etc, which had also been there
since inception, but that was deprected.

   Instead of changing the `-c' behaviour we can simply introduce a
   new option that will cause ping to stop after the default number of
   packets.  FWIW, the `-C' letter is still unused in ping, so we can
   use it for that purpose.  This will make for a good mnemonics.  The
   corresponding long option might be more verbose, say

   What do you think?

While this is a good middle ground, I am not 100% convinced, I still
feel that breaking `-c N' is OK.  The immediate problem I see is if we
decide to remove -C at a future date, it will break more than this
change.  But I'll sleep on it.

What are your thoughts on a BSD_ME_HARDER enviroment variable?  We
could leave it on by default, and if you set it to nil, then you would
get GNUish behaviour.

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