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Re: nmh 1.8RC2, xlbiff, and $HOME

From: Ralph Corderoy
Subject: Re: nmh 1.8RC2, xlbiff, and $HOME
Date: Tue, 31 Jan 2023 16:32:38 +0000

Hi Ken,

> > So an unset HOME is allowed by this function, it's an empty HOME
> > which isn't.
> It strikes me as strange that there is a difference between an unset
> HOME and an empty HOME in terms of behavior.  I mean, yes, I can see
> how the code is written, the historical precedent and how we got here,
> but ... well, I'm trying to understand the justification for treating
> those differently.

A non-empty HOME is clear; its content should be used.

An unset HOME is clear; it cannot be used.
There's a ready fallback, getpwuid(3) and pw_dir so use that.

What's the intent of an empty HOME?
Is it set by accident when it's meant to be unset?
Is it empty by accident when it's meant to be non-empty?
Do they want HOME=/, HOME=$PWD, or are they expecting it to error.
Any choice could be not what the user intended so exit.

Cheers, Ralph.

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