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Re: ln: make symbolic links default

From: Mike Hodson
Subject: Re: ln: make symbolic links default
Date: Tue, 4 Apr 2017 13:38:04 -0400

On Tue, Apr 4, 2017 at 1:30 PM, Nellis, Kenneth (Conduent) <
address@hidden> wrote:

> What is the transition plan? For example, I have scripts that create hard
> links, and I want them to continue to create hard links. What can I do in
> advance to modify my scripts so that when the patch is installed, they
> will not break?
> I too am curious/concerned about this; I have a number of scripts deployed
random places, and when/if the systems involved get updated to newer
coreutils (if ever) I no longer can continue to use the same scripts ; I
further must branch my scripts for any new Coreutils systems far in advance
of having to maintain the old ones, but it becomes a large hassle of
unknown breakage dates on systems I don't even maintain anymore.

I for one do not appreciate this fundamental change to 'ln'.

> I see that -h will be offered, but it isn't valid now, so I can't prepare.
> It will be too late after I install the patch. It seems a transition
> version that gives us a chance to prepare before pulling the plug is
> warranted.
> I would like to see a transition version that recognizes an environment
> variable that specifies the default link type, and that the code
> recognizes both -h and -s. Then I can prepare and when the patch hits,
> nothing breaks. Also, the transition version should not recognize ANY
> defaults (-h, -s, or environment variable) so that problem areas are
> identified.

indeed, a brand new version of 'ln' that "does nothing" and breaks totally,
vs "does the wrong thing" and 'may silently work or fail depending', is
about the only way to force a change like this.
Most things of mine 'ln -sf' today ; but some simply 'ln' and these are the
problematic ones.



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