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ls output changes considered unacceptable

From: Jason A. Donenfeld
Subject: ls output changes considered unacceptable
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 2016 11:50:28 +0100


There are some software changes that are simple accidents resulting in
bugs; folks find them, fix them, and all is well. Then there are
intentional changes, which don't affect functionality, but instead
change _essential aesthetics_. These are much more alarming issues,
the kind of issues that get under your skin, that disrupt your
relationship with the terminal, as though you suddenly woke up and all
your countrymen but not you spoke with a hardly comprehensible accent.
It's a shock, a disruption, a psychological chasm. And, when such a
change is made in software considered "core", by a single individual
unilaterally without extremely wide consultation of the larger
community, it is clear that a grave an unacceptable thing has
happened. The recent change to ls (commit 109b922) must be reverted
immediately, a new package version released, and only after large
multi-distro discussion might a similar change be made.

There are, of course, benefits from having multiple output modes, with
varying levels of escaping. Such options are well received. Changing
the default, however, is not. The commiter's suggestion of "use option
XYZ to get the old behavior back" does not appreciate nor respect the
subtleties an expectations of ls output, something best looks somewhat
similar on most machines, without the need for intense configuration,
aliases, or global environment variables.

We don't want those single quotes. We don't care about their
alignment, their coloring, their triggers; we simply do not want them.
There are so few people who actually want this feature, it's appalling
it would be made the default. Distributions across the community are
in the midst of working around this calamitous new change. There is
not a single community that has a majority of users who prefer it.
Every numerical method of determining desirability, whether its
electoral, condorcet, majoritarian, or even meritocratic, fails to
find any desire for this change.

So, please, do the sane and responsible thing: revert 109b922, release
a new version, and then start a community wide discussion, and see
where you get. Any discussions that are currently occurring, while
109b922 is not reverted, are don't done on a legitimate basis.


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