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Re: [bug-patch] Patch reported as garbage unfairly?

From: Andreas Gruenbacher
Subject: Re: [bug-patch] Patch reported as garbage unfairly?
Date: Thu, 17 Mar 2011 10:14:30 +0100
User-agent: KMail/1.13.5 (Linux/; KDE/4.4.4; x86_64; ; )

On Wednesday 16 March 2011 19:58:20 Reuben Thomas wrote:
> I have a patch starting:
> diff .\clue.c D:\ÏÂÔØÇø\clue-7\clue.c
> 17c17
> < int clue_do(clue_State *L, const char *code)
> ---
> > void clue_do(clue_State *L, const char *code)
> which patch disdains:
> Hmm...  I can't seem to find a patch in there anywhere.
> patch: **** Only garbage was found in the patch input.

This is a patch in "normal" format [*].  The first line is not recognized as a 
part of normal format, and any file names in there are ignored.

        [*] http://www.gnu.org/software/hello/manual/diff/Normal.html

Patch expects to find a file name in its input before the actual patch (unless 
a file name is explicitly specified on the command line).  In this case, it 
fails to find one, and gives up.

Possible solutions are

 - to tell patch explicitly to look for "normal" format (--normal); it then
   will prompt for a filename when it sees the 17c17 line,

 - to explicitly specify which file to patch on the command line,

 - to use unified or context format, both of which include proper file name

Older versions of patch did recognize the "normal" and "ed" formats more 
easily and would have prompted for a filename with this input.  This caused 
patch to mis-apply some patches; the current behavior makes this a lot more 


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