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Re: guix lint
Re: guix lint
Fri, 8 Apr 2016 20:07:45 +0200
> There may other places to fix, see <http://bugs.gnu.org/22536>.
Yeah, there's one at guix/build/download.scm in function "progress-proc".
I checked what "string-pad-middle" - which is used by the function
"progress-proc" - does and I... object to it in priciple.
What it does is add padding (in the middle) in order to make a string at least
a certain length (sometimes more!).
So we have:
>>> (string-pad-middle "http://foo" "bar 34 B/s" 80)
"http://foo bar 34 B/s"
Arguments against it are (o: questionable mitigation, leaning heavily against;
*: against it with OK mitigation; X: definitely against it):
o The terminal width is not passed to it correctly (can be fixed, although I
have to read up on what the currently recommeded way is. tcgetattr ?).
o The terminal width can change while the script is running (can this be fixed?
It would need a SIGWINCH handler and some kind of notification to
scripts/download so it reprints the progress text). Now you can have a race
between (1) and (2), fun.
* The terminal width can be changed after the script is done and has printed
its thing (nobody can fix the output up anymore). In our present case, the text
is supposedly ephemeral, so it shouldn't be there anymore, so it's fine.
o Since it uses string-length it doesn't actually count how many glyphs would
be printed on the terminal, while it should do so (this can be fixed - but at
large complexity increase and as long as the terminal doesn't use
variable-width fonts; arguably if it's documented to be only used for ASCII
strings it's simple. We should probably do the latter - and never translate it
into another human language).
o The resulting string can be longer than what it was told to (can be fixed -
although what should it cut off first then? The first or the second string? the
first string is the (abbreviate file) and the second string contains
transferred amount, speed etc).
* Overengineering helps no one. If the terminal is not wide enough, let the
user resize it or the terminal handler virtual-word-wrap it or whatever instead
of this abbreviation business. Anything but every program guessing how wide the
tty is at some random point in time. Many GNU tools do the latter and I wish
they would stop it and just print the entire thing. Because the progress is
ephemeral (it's replaced by a new paragraph every time), this argument is not
so strong here.
o Having this maximal padding in-between means that if we misjudge the glyph
width, it will certainly mess up the display. While if we didn't have this
padding, the error would often not manifest as failure (if there's enough free
space left anyway). Why do it?
Any more arguments for or against it?
I can also fix up string-pad-middle while maintaining its way, but just for the
record, this is a bad way of doing it.
If we are concerned about all emphemeral "transferred" lines lining up, just
print the speed first (with fixed width, if possible) and the URL afterwards,
with one space in-between.
We could abbreviate it if we have to - but should the download fail, the error
message then has to contain the unabbreviated URL for usability (note: it
does). At that point, why have the URL in the download progress at all? Total
percentage done (over all the downloads) would be a lot more useful.
If we do print a table, I would suggest setting a tab stop (using ESC H or
similar) and using the tab character to print tables - that's what they are
for. Note: there's a standalone "column -t" tool which also does the right
Also, is there a control character which returns to the beginning of the
paragraph? Double-clicking on a paragraph in gnome-terminal selects the entire
paragraph - so it does know what extent the paragraph has. However, printing CR
returns me to the beginning of the row, not the beginning of the paragraph.
The terminal could be such a nice universal text interface - if programs don't
have to know presentation details like how wide the terminal is currently. Why
should a program have to care? *shakes head*