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Re: small hack to prettify output of list-installed

From: Danny Milosavljevic
Subject: Re: small hack to prettify output of list-installed
Date: Fri, 19 Jul 2019 10:32:58 +0200


On Fri, 19 Jul 2019 09:46:15 +0200
Robert Vollmert <address@hidden> wrote:

> here’s a small patch that calls “column -t” on the output of
> `guix package --list-installed`. Probably not suitable for
> inclusion since I assume the guix scripts shouldn’t depend
> on `util-linux`, but I find it quite nice to have, so maybe
> it’s useful to someone else.

For better or for worse we are on UNIX.  UNIX works best if programs
don't do weird special-processing like that by default - in order
not to break whatever pipe processing the user adds (IMO we do
way too much processing on our own already).

The user can always do

    guix ... | column -t

in a shell (or a guix wrapper shell script), right?

Moreover (and I can't believe I'm still arguing that), terminals have the
ability to set tab stops and there's no reason why the user wouldn't set
up tab stops.  Then this entire thing would be counterproductive.

I know, in practise almost nobody sets those up, but it's some strange NIH
stuff not to use those.  They are there, they are not broken, and they are
in order to make tables.

To set those up, use the "tabs" program.

$ tabs 1 10 50
$ echo -e 'hello\tbu\tba'
hello    bu                                      ba

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