GNU bug report logs - #50097
gzip: add "--keep" option to keep original files unchanged

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Package: gzip; Reported by: Krzysztof ┼╗elechowski <giecrilj@HIDDEN>; dated Tue, 17 Aug 2021 17:45:01 UTC; Maintainer for gzip is bug-gzip@HIDDEN.

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To: Paul Eggert <eggert@HIDDEN>, Jim Meyering <jim@HIDDEN>, "Adler,
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Subject: Re: bug#50097: gzip: add "--keep" option to keep original files
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Dnia niedziela, 22 sierpnia 2021 13:21:45 CEST Adler, Mark pisze:
> Just for information, up to now, pigz would merrily unlink the hard link =
of
> the input file, even if it has other hard links. While I=E2=80=99m not su=
re I
> understand why it shouldn=E2=80=99t do that (that is in fact what you ask=
ed it to
> do), in the spirit of behaving mostly like gzip, it will now* not

I assumed we wanted to prevent the possibility that we would overwrite and=
=20
rename the file instead of removing it.  I understand that it is not the=20
current approach and it stinks of data loss but it possible to do it that w=
ay,=20
e.g. if the underlying file system is transactional; in that case, the=20
difference would not be observable.

Chris






Information forwarded to bug-gzip@HIDDEN:
bug#50097; Package gzip. Full text available.

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Subject: Re: bug#50097: gzip: add "--keep" option to keep original files
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Dnia sobota, 21 sierpnia 2021 15:55:45 CEST Jim Meyering pisze:
> I.e., we have to weigh "what could go wrong?" against "what would be
> improved?" In this case, the weights are small on each side. That alone
> argues against making a semantics-changing modification to such a tool.

The bad weight on the "for" side is 0, the counterexamples are unconvincing.

BR,
Chris







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On Fri, Aug 20, 2021 at 5:16 PM Paul Eggert <eggert@HIDDEN> wrote:
> On 8/20/21 7:52 AM, Krzysztof =C5=BBelechowski wrote:
>
> >> echo hello >a
> >> ln a b
> >> gzip -k b && gzip -cd b.gz >>b
> >>
> >> This would trash 'a' if gzip -k succeeded. (Same with 'ln -s'.)
> >
> > The appending redirection operator has nothing to do with gzip.
>
> That's true even without -k: if plain 'gzip b' succeeded in this case,
> any problem that the user ran into later would have nothing to do with
> gzip. Plain 'gzip b' ignores 'b' here, not because compressing 'b' would
> cause any problem with gzip itself, but because it could cause confusion
> *later*.
>
>
> > My normal usage of (hard) links is as follows:
> > Create a file page.txt. Link it to page.html.
> > Want to view? Open page.html.
> > Want to edit? Open page.txt.
> > Want to attach? gzip -k page.html =E2=80=A6 oops.
>
> Oh my. That is ... unusual. Let's see if others chime in about whether
> this usage would justify changing the behavior of gzip -k.

We have decades of history across gzip, bzip2 and xz for the current
semantics of -k.
Generally, we have an obligation to try hard to avoid changing
semantics of existing options.
I.e., we have to weigh "what could go wrong?" against "what would be improv=
ed?"
In this case, the weights are small on each side. That alone argues against
making a semantics-changing modification to such a tool.

To compress a single file and keep the original, one can always read
it via standard input.

To summarize, while tempting to make the change,
it feels like too small a gain to justify changing semantics in a tool
like gzip.




Information forwarded to bug-gzip@HIDDEN:
bug#50097; Package gzip. Full text available.

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Dnia pi=C4=85tek, 20 sierpnia 2021 17:15:43 CEST Paul Eggert pisze:
> On 8/20/21 7:52 AM, Krzysztof =C5=BBelechowski wrote:
> >> echo hello >a
> >> ln a b
> >> gzip -k b && gzip -cd b.gz >>b
> >>=20
> >> This would trash 'a' if gzip -k succeeded. (Same with 'ln -s'.)
> >=20
> > The appending redirection operator has nothing to do with gzip.
>=20
> That's true even without -k: if plain 'gzip b' succeeded in this case,
> any problem that the user ran into later would have nothing to do with
> gzip. Plain 'gzip b' ignores 'b' here, not because compressing 'b' would
> cause any problem with gzip itself, but because it could cause confusion
> *later*.

If plain { gzip b; } succeeded, we have a problem because [a] is compressed=
=20
but not renamed.

Chris









Information forwarded to bug-gzip@HIDDEN:
bug#50097; Package gzip. Full text available.

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From: Paul Eggert <eggert@HIDDEN>
Organization: UCLA Computer Science Department
Subject: Re: bug#50097: gzip: add "--keep" option to keep original files
 unchanged
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On 8/20/21 7:52 AM, Krzysztof =C5=BBelechowski wrote:

>> echo hello >a
>> ln a b
>> gzip -k b && gzip -cd b.gz >>b
>>
>> This would trash 'a' if gzip -k succeeded. (Same with 'ln -s'.)
>=20
> The appending redirection operator has nothing to do with gzip.

That's true even without -k: if plain 'gzip b' succeeded in this case,=20
any problem that the user ran into later would have nothing to do with=20
gzip. Plain 'gzip b' ignores 'b' here, not because compressing 'b' would=20
cause any problem with gzip itself, but because it could cause confusion=20
*later*.


> My normal usage of (hard) links is as follows:
> Create a file page.txt. Link it to page.html.
> Want to view? Open page.html.
> Want to edit? Open page.txt.
> Want to attach? gzip -k page.html =E2=80=A6 oops.

Oh my. That is ... unusual. Let's see if others chime in about whether=20
this usage would justify changing the behavior of gzip -k.




Information forwarded to bug-gzip@HIDDEN:
bug#50097; Package gzip. Full text available.

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To: Paul Eggert <eggert@HIDDEN>
Subject: Re: bug#50097: gzip: add "--keep" option to keep original files
 unchanged
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Dnia pi=C4=85tek, 20 sierpnia 2021 16:42:54 CEST Paul Eggert pisze:
> On 8/20/21 5:20 AM, Krzysztof =C5=BBelechowski wrote:
> >> gzip -k b && gzip -cd b.gz >b
> >>=20
> >> which would trash the hard-linked file as well.
> >=20
> > That would replace the content of the file b with the content of the fi=
le
> > b. How bad can that be? ;-)
>=20
> It could be a problem as-is if some other file reads 'a' in the middle
> of the process. And the problem would be more serious in other examples,
> such as:
>=20
> echo hello >a
> ln a b
> gzip -k b && gzip -cd b.gz >>b
>=20
> This would trash 'a' if gzip -k succeeded. (Same with 'ln -s'.)

The appending redirection operator has nothing to do with gzip.  It is a sh=
ell=20
feature. If you need to protect dumb users from themselves, you need to des=
ign=20
and implement { sh -o noclobberlinks; }.

>=20
> >> > Of course one can use -f to go ahead and compress anyway.
> >=20
> > That would silently replace an existing target, which is bad.
>=20
> Sure. The only question here is what things "gzip -k" should be able to
> do, without the things being considered "bad".
>=20
> Perhaps if you gave us the surrounding context; that might help explain
> why it would be useful to change the behavior of gzip -k on links. Bug
> report 50097 seems to start up in the middle of a conversation that I'm
> not privy to.

My normal usage of (hard) links is as follows:
Create a file page.txt. Link it to page.html.
Want to view? Open page.html.
Want to edit? Open page.txt.
Want to attach? gzip -k page.html =E2=80=A6 oops.

See ya,
Chris







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From: Paul Eggert <eggert@HIDDEN>
Organization: UCLA Computer Science Department
Subject: Re: bug#50097: gzip: add "--keep" option to keep original files
 unchanged
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On 8/20/21 5:20 AM, Krzysztof =C5=BBelechowski wrote:
>> gzip -k b && gzip -cd b.gz >b
>>
>> which would trash the hard-linked file as well.
> That would replace the content of the file b with the content of the fi=
le b.
> How bad can that be? ;-)

It could be a problem as-is if some other file reads 'a' in the middle=20
of the process. And the problem would be more serious in other examples,=20
such as:

echo hello >a
ln a b
gzip -k b && gzip -cd b.gz >>b

This would trash 'a' if gzip -k succeeded. (Same with 'ln -s'.)

>> > Of course one can use -f to go ahead and compress anyway.
>=20
> That would silently replace an existing target, which is bad.

Sure. The only question here is what things "gzip -k" should be able to=20
do, without the things being considered "bad".

Perhaps if you gave us the surrounding context; that might help explain=20
why it would be useful to change the behavior of gzip -k on links. Bug=20
report 50097 seems to start up in the middle of a conversation that I'm=20
not privy to.




Information forwarded to bug-gzip@HIDDEN:
bug#50097; Package gzip. Full text available.

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To: Paul Eggert <eggert@HIDDEN>
Subject: Re: bug#50097: gzip: add "--keep" option to keep original files
 unchanged
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Dnia czwartek, 19 sierpnia 2021 23:32:44 CEST Paul Eggert pisze:
> On 8/19/21 1:43 PM, Krzysztof =C5=BBelechowski wrote:
> > The command { gzip b; } fails because it would compress [a] without
> > renaming it.
> > The command { gzip -k b; } would not compress [a], so there is no reason
> > to
> > fail.
> Of course one can use -f to go ahead and compress anyway.

That would silently replace an existing target, which is bad.








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Dnia czwartek, 19 sierpnia 2021 23:32:44 CEST Paul Eggert pisze:
> On 8/19/21 1:43 PM, Krzysztof =C5=BBelechowski wrote:
> > The command { gzip b; } fails because it would compress [a] without
> > renaming it.
> > The command { gzip -k b; } would not compress [a], so there is no reason
> > to
> > fail.
>=20
> There is a safety reason to fail. A naive user might do this:
>=20
> gzip -k b && gzip -cd b.gz >b
>=20
> which would trash the hard-linked file as well.

That would replace the content of the file b with the content of the file b=
=2E =20
How bad can that be? ;-)

Chris








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From: Paul Eggert <eggert@HIDDEN>
Organization: UCLA Computer Science Department
Subject: Re: bug#50097: gzip: add "--keep" option to keep original files
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This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
--------------6EB630EFB49F70682194E252
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8; format=flowed
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

On 8/19/21 1:43 PM, Krzysztof =C5=BBelechowski wrote:
> The command { gzip b; } fails because it would compress [a] without ren=
aming
> it.
> The command { gzip -k b; } would not compress [a], so there is no reaso=
n to
> fail.

There is a safety reason to fail. A naive user might do this:

gzip -k b && gzip -cd b.gz >b

which would trash the hard-linked file as well.

There's a similar safety issue with symbolic links:

$ ln -s a b
$ touch a
$ gzip -k b && gzip -cd b.gz >b
gzip: b: Too many levels of symbolic links

where gzip's failure prevents the naive user from trashing the linked-to=20
file.

Of course one can use -f to go ahead and compress anyway.

Similar diagnostics say "file ignored" or "ignored", and that is clearer=20
than saying "unchanged", so I installed the attached patch.

--------------6EB630EFB49F70682194E252
Content-Type: text/x-patch; charset=UTF-8;
 name="0001-gzip-clarify-other-links-diagnostic.patch"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable
Content-Disposition: attachment;
 filename="0001-gzip-clarify-other-links-diagnostic.patch"

=46rom 4b2f69227db5739b63e22a72f6db2b13972affb5 Mon Sep 17 00:00:00 2001
From: Paul Eggert <eggert@HIDDEN>
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2021 14:26:38 -0700
Subject: [PATCH] gzip: clarify "other links" diagnostic

* gzip.c (treat_file): Instead of saying
"gzip: FOO has 1 other link  -- unchanged", say
"gzip: FOO has 1 other link -- file ignored".
This is clearer when -k is also used (Bug#50097).
---
 gzip.c | 4 ++--
 1 file changed, 2 insertions(+), 2 deletions(-)

diff --git a/gzip.c b/gzip.c
index 0123f82..f75b614 100644
--- a/gzip.c
+++ b/gzip.c
@@ -942,10 +942,10 @@ local void treat_file(iname)
               }
             if (2 <=3D istat.st_nlink)
               {
-                WARN ((stderr, "%s: %s has %lu other link%c -- unchanged=
\n",
+                WARN ((stderr, "%s: %s has %lu other link%s -- file igno=
red\n",
                        program_name, ifname,
                        (unsigned long int) istat.st_nlink - 1,
-                       istat.st_nlink =3D=3D 2 ? ' ' : 's'));
+                       istat.st_nlink =3D=3D 2 ? "" : "s"));
                 close (ifd);
                 return;
               }
--=20
2.30.2


--------------6EB630EFB49F70682194E252--




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Dnia czwartek, 19 sierpnia 2021 17:28:51 CEST Rodrigo Campos pisze:
> On 8/19/21 3:50 PM, Antonio Diaz Diaz wrote:
> > Rodrigo Campos wrote:
> > $ touch a && ln a b && ls -go *
> > -rw-r--r-- 2 0 Aug 19 15:29 a
> > -rw-r--r-- 2 0 Aug 19 15:29 b
> > $ gzip -k b
> > gzip: b has 1 other link  -- unchanged
> 
> Yeap, but the same happens if you run this instead: gzip b (i.e. without
> -k).
> 
> It is not the -k flag that gets in the way. This is what happens in
> gzip, even without using the flag.
> 
> Am I missing something?

The command { gzip b; } fails because it would compress [a] without renaming 
it.
The command { gzip -k b; } would not compress [a], so there is no reason to 
fail.
HTH,
Chris






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On 8/19/21 3:50 PM, Antonio Diaz Diaz wrote:
> Rodrigo Campos wrote:
>>> { >>a && ln a b && gzip -k b
>>> }
>>
>> Exactly, the original file is unaffected, therefore nothing to fix in
>> this specific patch. Note the same happens without "-k" too.
> 
> I think the point of Krzysztof is that the patch is incomplete because, 

Oh, thanks for chiming in :)

> in addition to keep the original file, it should also allow the 
> (de)compression of links without forcing the user to type also '-f' for 
> no apparent reason.

It is not the -k flag that disallows this.

> 
> $ touch a && ln a b && ls -go *
> -rw-r--r-- 2 0 Aug 19 15:29 a
> -rw-r--r-- 2 0 Aug 19 15:29 b
> $ gzip -k b
> gzip: b has 1 other linká -- unchanged

Yeap, but the same happens if you run this instead: gzip b (i.e. without 
-k).

It is not the -k flag that gets in the way. This is what happens in 
gzip, even without using the flag.

Am I missing something?




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Rodrigo Campos wrote:
>> { >>a && ln a b && gzip -k b
>> }
>
> Exactly, the original file is unaffected, therefore nothing to fix in
> this specific patch. Note the same happens without "-k" too.

I think the point of Krzysztof is that the patch is incomplete because, in 
addition to keep the original file, it should also allow the (de)compression 
of links without forcing the user to type also '-f' for no apparent reason.

$ touch a && ln a b && ls -go *
-rw-r--r-- 2 0 Aug 19 15:29 a
-rw-r--r-- 2 0 Aug 19 15:29 b
$ gzip -k b
gzip: b has 1 other link  -- unchanged
$ lzip -k b
$ ls -go *
-rw-r--r-- 2  0 Aug 19 15:29 a
-rw-r--r-- 2  0 Aug 19 15:29 b
-rw-r--r-- 1 36 Aug 19 15:29 b.lz
$ gzip -k -f b
$ ls -go *
-rw-r--r-- 2  0 Aug 19 15:29 a
-rw-r--r-- 2  0 Aug 19 15:29 b
-rw-r--r-- 1 22 Aug 19 15:29 b.gz
-rw-r--r-- 1 36 Aug 19 15:29 b.lz


Best regards,
Antonio.




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From: Rodrigo Campos <rodrigo@HIDDEN>
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On 8/19/21 2:29 AM, Krzysztof ┼╗elechowski wrote:

> 
>> The patch just makes sure the original files are
>> unchanged, as the topic says, and that is working as far as I understand.
> 
> It is >
>> Also, can you please provide specific steps to reproduce?
> 
> { >>a && ln a b && gzip -k b
> }

Exactly, the original file is unaffected, therefore nothing to fix in 
this specific patch. Note the same happens without "-k" too.

If this is a bug, please report with the regular methods. Don't revive 
this unrelated thread from the mailing list :)


Best,
Rodrigo




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bug#50097; Package gzip. Full text available.

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From: Krzysztof =?utf-8?B?xbtlbGVjaG93c2tp?= <giecrilj@HIDDEN>
To: bug-gzip@HIDDEN, Rodrigo Campos <rodrigo@HIDDEN>
Subject: Re: gzip: add "--keep" option to keep original files unchanged
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Dnia czwartek, 19 sierpnia 2021 00:43:26 CEST Rodrigo Campos pisze:
> On 8/17/21 7:43 PM, Krzysztof =C5=BBelechowski wrote:
> > Dnia sobota, 9 lutego 2013 16:21:13 CEST Rodrigo Campos pisze:
> >> Hi,
> >>=20
> >> Please keep me in Cc: since I'm not subscribed.
> >>=20
> >> This path just adds the "--keep" option to keep original files unchang=
ed.
> >> The patch is very simple and I have tried it here (manpage and binary)
> >> and
> >> it seems to work just fine.
> >>=20
> >> I tried to respect the coding style (it is a very small patch, so
> >> hopefully
> >> I did) and the commit format. But I wasn't sure how the commit format =
for
> >> this patch should be. So please let me know which changes should I do.
> >=20
> > This patch has the following problem: it still refuses to zip a file wi=
th
> > multiple links for no reason (the original file is unaffected).
>=20
> Wow, this patch was sent (and applied) ~8 years ago already. Congrats
> for finding the thread :D
>=20
> Can you please explain why, if the original file is not affected, this
> patch is related?=20

This patch allows the original file to be left unaffected.

> The patch just makes sure the original files are
> unchanged, as the topic says, and that is working as far as I understand.

It is.

>=20
>=20
> Also, can you please provide specific steps to reproduce?

{ >>a && ln a b && gzip -k b
}

>=20
>=20
>=20
> Best,
> Rodrigo








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bug#50097; Package gzip. Full text available.

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On 8/17/21 7:43 PM, Krzysztof ┼╗elechowski wrote:
> Dnia sobota, 9 lutego 2013 16:21:13 CEST Rodrigo Campos pisze:
>> Hi,
>>
>> Please keep me in Cc: since I'm not subscribed.
>>
>> This path just adds the "--keep" option to keep original files unchanged.
>> The patch is very simple and I have tried it here (manpage and binary) and
>> it seems to work just fine.
>>
>> I tried to respect the coding style (it is a very small patch, so hopefully
>> I did) and the commit format. But I wasn't sure how the commit format for
>> this patch should be. So please let me know which changes should I do.
> 
> This patch has the following problem: it still refuses to zip a file with
> multiple links for no reason (the original file is unaffected).

Wow, this patch was sent (and applied) ~8 years ago already. Congrats 
for finding the thread :D

Can you please explain why, if the original file is not affected, this 
patch is related? The patch just makes sure the original files are 
unchanged, as the topic says, and that is working as far as I understand.


Also, can you please provide specific steps to reproduce?



Best,
Rodrigo




Information forwarded to bug-gzip@HIDDEN:
bug#50097; Package gzip. Full text available.

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Dnia sobota, 9 lutego 2013 16:21:13 CEST Rodrigo Campos pisze:
> Hi,
> 
> Please keep me in Cc: since I'm not subscribed.
> 
> This path just adds the "--keep" option to keep original files unchanged.
> The patch is very simple and I have tried it here (manpage and binary) and
> it seems to work just fine.
> 
> I tried to respect the coding style (it is a very small patch, so hopefully
> I did) and the commit format. But I wasn't sure how the commit format for
> this patch should be. So please let me know which changes should I do.

This patch has the following problem: it still refuses to zip a file with 
multiple links for no reason (the original file is unaffected).

Please fix,
Chris








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