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Re: GNU Parallel Bug Reports Latest parallel in non-default prefix gives

From: Kilian Evang
Subject: Re: GNU Parallel Bug Reports Latest parallel in non-default prefix gives
Date: Thu, 02 Jul 2015 00:00:45 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:31.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/31.7.0

On 01/07/15 21:07, Ole Tange wrote:
I can see those could have been phrased better: --tollef was
introduced to let people_already_  using Tollef's parallel to continue
working seamlessly, and to allow packagers to create a package that
did this. But the key issue is that you do not put anything in
/etc/parallel/config without stressing to your users that you have
done so: IF the packagers chose to do so, the users should be informed
about this (and the consequences of this) - and preferably they should
have a choice to just get the generic GNU Parallel.

History tells us that is not what happened.

I'm not sure. The Debian parallel package did exactly that: put --tollef into /etc/parallel/config to give Tollef behavior by default (because Tollef had already been around in the moreutils package, I guess). And the option to get GNU Parallel behavior was there from the start: there is the --gnu option.

To be clear: the issue is *not* that recent versions of GNU Parallel no longer support Tollef behavior. That's perfectly acceptable.

The issue *is* that they crash when --tollef is given even if overriden by --gnu, and therefore do not work on systems on which the Debian parallel package is installed (similar in Fedora, apparently).

>So as a result we have this situation where --tollef is in
>/etc/parallel/config in many distros (Ubuntu 12.04 in my case) and prevents
>users who are not root from using recent versions of GNU Parallel.
>So especially seeing this history, I think GNU Parallel users would be much
>better served by continuing to silently support --tollef for the time being,
>as long as it's overriden by --gnu.
--tollef has been obsolete with a warning for a year and retired
completely for more than a full year. I doubt that people actually
using --tollef on purpose has not converted already, and I would
reckon that it is much fewer affected.

Would it serve the users even better simply to ignore --tollef completely?

No. When --tollef is given but --gnu is not, there should be an error.


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