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Re: [Bug-tar] bad treatment of symlinks

From: Andries E. Brouwer
Subject: Re: [Bug-tar] bad treatment of symlinks
Date: Thu, 20 Oct 2011 10:56:07 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.20 (2009-06-14)

On Tue, Oct 18, 2011 at 05:51:32PM -0700, Paul Eggert wrote:

> > (ii) "tar manual" - my default Ubuntu system does not have it.
> That's an Ubuntu issue, not a tar issue.  I expect it will be fixed
> whenever Ubuntu gets around to it; perhaps as a user you might file a
> bug report with them to accelerate the process.  Your complaints about
> tar's documentation's license are no longer correct, as the license
> was recently changed.


I just looked whether I should file a bug with Ubuntu.

If I am not mistaken, Ubuntu takes this from Debian, so the license
should be acceptable to Debian. If I am not mistaken (but I have
not followed this closely) Debian accepts only free documentation,
that is, documentation that can be edited. Invariant sections
(like Invariant Sections or Cover Texts) are not acceptable.

I just looked at tar.info:

# This manual is for GNU `tar' (version 1.26, 12 March 2011)
# with no Invariant Sections, with the Front-Cover Texts ...

so maybe that version from March 2011 is not yet acceptable,
unless Debian changed point of view since 2006.

Maybe there is a more recent version of tar.info?
This is what www.gnu.org gave me.


> Ubuntu issue, not a tar issue

when two disagree it is not fair to say that it is the fault of one of them

Now that this is a tar bug list, and license matters are possibly less
appropriate, let me also mention a flaw in the program.
While archiving a filesystem it gave me over 500000 times the error

tar: foo: implausibly old time stamp 1970-01-01 01:00:00

Clearly that is undesirable. One point of view is that it is none of
tar's business to complain about time stamps. Its job is just to
archive or extract. Now I do not mind a warning, but I do mind
being flooded with nonsense warnings, so that error messages
corresponding to real problems completely disappear in this flood.

[I know that there is a --warning option (undocumented in the
help message or on the man page) that I might have used to
suppress timestamp messages. But it is less desirable to do the
right thing only when obscure options are given.
In a case like this "the right thing" would be to give this message
five times, and upon the 6th say "further timestamp warnings suppressed;
to see them all, give the --allfoo option, to see none, use --nofoo.]

These warnings really slowed tar down.

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