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Re: bug#32127: RFE -- in the way "cp -rl" -- enable 'ln' to do likewise?

From: L A Walsh
Subject: Re: bug#32127: RFE -- in the way "cp -rl" -- enable 'ln' to do likewise?
Date: Tue, 17 Jul 2018 01:25:59 -0700
User-agent: Thunderbird

Bernhard Voelker wrote:

I disagree here: some people are not that familiar with the differences
between symlinks and hardlinks, okay, but the consequences for using either
type may be quite dramatic later on.
        I am not suggesting handing out alternates when you have a
choice.  I'm suggesting doing something useful in a case where there are
no alternates and no downsides.  If you can come up with a case where
a symlink to a directory would do more harm than a hardlink, I might agree,
but in this case, hardlinks are not supported.  So there can be no
"dramatic consequences".  I.e. that sounds more like FUD for the sake
of argument than a sound engineering analysis.

Therefore I think it's better to give
a helping error instead of second-guessing what the user *may* have wanted.
        I said doing both would be fine -- i.e. creating the symlink
and issuing a warning that a symlink was used.

The point is: also an experienced user may sometimes forget to specify
the -s option, and I'm sure they *want* a proper error message.
        I think I'd fall into the category of experienced user -- more
so than most.  I really don't care about a proper error message nor do I
prefer to type in '-s'.  I just wanted the link of the right type for
linking to a directory.  Your example of what an experience user would want
is conjecture, and in this case, incorrect.  Additionally, your initial
argument refers to cases that cannot occur or happen w/modern linux (or unix) systems. I repeat -- what dramatic consequence could happen here
where the user got a symbolic link, but somehow expected expected a hard
link -- what worse behavior would a symbolic link enable that wouldn't have
happened with a hard or physical link?

If you can come up with a realistic case where such code creates dramatic effects/consequences, then lets have a discussion on real
problems -- not on things that don't exist.

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