[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Feature Request: Removal of '-f' Short Option in 'rm' Command

From: Dragan Simic
Subject: Re: Feature Request: Removal of '-f' Short Option in 'rm' Command
Date: Mon, 25 Sep 2023 12:24:13 +0200

On 2023-09-25 08:12, Owen Chia wrote:
Dear GNU Coreutils Team,

I hope this email finds you well. I am writing to propose a feature
request regarding the 'rm' command in GNU Coreutils. Specifically, I
would like to suggest the removal of the '-f' short option, while
retaining the '--force' long option.

The rationale behind this proposal stems from the observation that the
'-f' short option has led to numerous accidental deletions due to its
ease of use and associated muscle memory. By removing the short option
and encouraging the use of the longer '--force' option, we can
mitigate such unintended consequences and promote safer usage of the
'rm' command.

I believe that requiring users to type the full long option '--force'
each time they intend to forcefully remove files or directories would
serve as an effective safeguard against inadvertent deletions. The
additional effort involved in typing the longer option will create a
deliberate pause, allowing users to consciously confirm their intent
before proceeding with potentially irreversible actions.

By implementing this change, we can prevent accidental data loss and
promote a culture of cautious file management practices. The
modification aligns with the principles of user-friendly design and
prioritizes the safety and integrity of user data.

FWIW, I understand the rationale behind your proposal, but I also disagree completely with it. See, even without "-f" supplied, deleting files that require "-f" to be supplied is still possible by hitting "y" at the displayed "are you sure" prompt. The next step in improving the safety may be to require "yes" to be typed at the prompt, etc. It may continue that way even further, which would be rather pointless. Even further, "-r" is even more dangerous than "-f", so we may want to remove it as well, etc. I hope you see the futility of such efforts.

See, rm(1) is like a chainsaw. A great tool, but requires very careful use, and it should stay that way, IMHO.

I kindly request the GNU Coreutils Team to consider this proposal for
the 'rm' command. I understand that any changes to a widely used
utility like Coreutils require careful consideration and testing. I am
available to provide further insights, conduct additional testing, or
assist in any way necessary to support the implementation of this

Thank you for your attention to this matter, and I look forward to
your response. Your efforts in maintaining and improving the GNU
Coreutils project are greatly appreciated.

Owen Chia

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]