GNU bug report logs - #34026
doc: explain long-vs-short options

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Package: coreutils; Severity: wishlist; Reported by: 積丹尼 Dan Jacobson <jidanni@HIDDEN>; dated Thu, 10 Jan 2019 03:48:02 UTC; Maintainer for coreutils is bug-coreutils@HIDDEN.
Changed bug title to 'doc: explain long-vs-short options' from 'mention that long options aren't always as good as short options' Request was from Assaf Gordon <assafgordon@HIDDEN> to control <at> debbugs.gnu.org. Full text available.
Severity set to 'wishlist' from 'normal' Request was from Assaf Gordon <assafgordon@HIDDEN> to control <at> debbugs.gnu.org. Full text available.

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Subject: Re: bug#34026: mention that long options aren't always as good as
 short options
To: =?UTF-8?B?56mN5Li55bC8IERhbiBKYWNvYnNvbg==?= <jidanni@HIDDEN>,
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From: Assaf Gordon <assafgordon@HIDDEN>
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severity 34026 wishlist
retitle 34026 doc: explain long-vs-short options
stop

Hello,

On 2019-01-09 9:23 p.m., 積丹尼 Dan Jacobson wrote:
> Yes do warn in the manual, as here root (so no $HOME) expected tilde
> expansion... Thanks.

I'm marking this as a wish-list item.

If we are to add a section dedicated to options parsing,
it's worth noting related discussion about using two dashes
to stop processing ( http://bugs.gnu.org/33942 ),
and some similar section in the guile manual:
https://www.gnu.org/software/guile/manual/html_node/Command-Line-Format.html

regards,
  - assaf







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bug#34026; Package coreutils. Full text available.

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From: =?utf-8?B?56mN5Li55bC8?= Dan Jacobson <jidanni@HIDDEN>
To: Eric Blake <eblake@HIDDEN>
Subject: Re: bug#34026: mention that long options aren't always as good as
 short options
References: <87r2dl472d.fsf@HIDDEN>
 <025e94ca-fbf8-fc22-5188-0da0a6a6e557@HIDDEN>
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Yes do warn in the manual, as here root (so no $HOME) expected tilde
expansion... Thanks.




Information forwarded to bug-coreutils@HIDDEN:
bug#34026; Package coreutils. Full text available.

Message received at 34026 <at> debbugs.gnu.org:


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Subject: Re: bug#34026: mention that long options aren't always as good as
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To: =?UTF-8?B?56mN5Li55bC8IERhbiBKYWNvYnNvbg==?= <jidanni@HIDDEN>,
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From: Eric Blake <eblake@HIDDEN>
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Message-ID: <025e94ca-fbf8-fc22-5188-0da0a6a6e557@HIDDEN>
Subject: Re: bug#34026: mention that long options aren't always as good as
 short options
References: <87r2dl472d.fsf@HIDDEN>
In-Reply-To: <87r2dl472d.fsf@HIDDEN>

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On 1/9/19 7:47 PM, =E7=A9=8D=E4=B8=B9=E5=B0=BC Dan Jacobson wrote:
> On (info "(coreutils) Common options")
> mention that, though clearer, long options aren't always as good as sho=
rt options,
> $ touch --reference=3D~jidanni/.pcmanx /cf/pcmanx_time
> touch: failed to get attributes of '~jidanni/.pcmanx/pcmanx': No such f=
ile or directory
> Unless one removes the '=3D':
> $ touch --reference ~jidanni/.pcmanx/pcmanx /cf/pcmanx_time
> $
> (due to the shell helping out with "~...")

The same is true for short options: 'touch -rfile' and 'touch -r file'
are almost identical, except for 'touch -r~file' and 'touch -r ~file'.
So it is NOT a case of long options not being as good as short options.

Note that bash defaults to doing ~ expansion after =3D, but that this is =
a
bash extension and is disabled by default when bash is in POSIX mode.
But not even bash can tell that you want tilde expansion if you write
the argument of a short option adjacent to the option rather than as a
separate argument.  So in _that_ regards, if you want to pass as small
of an argv[] as possible, the long option form with =3D is BETTER than th=
e
short option form of concatenation, if you use bash as your shell.

Spelling long options with a space instead of =3D is fine for all long
options that have a mandatory option, and we try to avoid long options
with optional arguments (where you have to use =3D).  That said, I agree
that having some mention in the manual of the effects of =3D~ having
different behaviors depending on the shell would be helpful.  Remember,
if you want tilde expansion it is best to present that option argument
as a standalone argument so that the tilde starts the word; when that is
not possible (such as for the less common case of an optional argument
to a long option), you can use $HOME/ instead of ~/, or else have to
resort to a temporary variable to perform the tilde expansion
separately, as in:

tmp=3D~user; touch --reference=3D$tmp/.pcmanx/pcmanx /cf/pcmanx_time

--=20
Eric Blake, Principal Software Engineer
Red Hat, Inc.           +1-919-301-3226
Virtualization:  qemu.org | libvirt.org


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Information forwarded to bug-coreutils@HIDDEN:
bug#34026; Package coreutils. Full text available.

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Subject: mention that long options aren't always as good as short options
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On (info "(coreutils) Common options")
mention that, though clearer, long options aren't always as good as short options,
$ touch --reference=~jidanni/.pcmanx /cf/pcmanx_time
touch: failed to get attributes of '~jidanni/.pcmanx/pcmanx': No such file or directory
Unless one removes the '=':
$ touch --reference ~jidanni/.pcmanx/pcmanx /cf/pcmanx_time
$
(due to the shell helping out with "~...")




Acknowledgement sent to 積丹尼 Dan Jacobson <jidanni@HIDDEN>:
New bug report received and forwarded. Copy sent to bug-coreutils@HIDDEN. Full text available.
Report forwarded to bug-coreutils@HIDDEN:
bug#34026; Package coreutils. Full text available.
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