Subject: Re: Recursive grep
To: None <current-users@NetBSD.ORG>
From: Brett Lymn <>
List: current-users
Date: 01/24/1996 20:44:39
According to Greg Earle:
>So when does the commit go into the tree to remove the "-R" options from
>"chown" and "chmod"?  After all, if you need those, you're a wimp ...

and why not?  Vague memory tells me that the "-R" did not exist on
some SYSV R3 machines I worked on.... :-) :-)   Only kidding guys...

Mind you the -R is not that useful in some cases - like when you want
to change a directory tree of files to be readable _but_ you need to
make the directories r-x so the users can access the directories,
making the files executable is not acceptable.  Sooooo what do we do?
Fix chmod/chown so that you can tell it what type of file to apply the
permissions to (ala finds -type argument) or what????  :-) :-)  Again
I am not seriously suggesting that anyone should be doing the change.

What I am trying to show is that there does not seem to be any easy
answer to all the possibilities - seems to me that a lot of
DOS/Windoze programs try doing this and end up bloated with all sorts
of baggage.  I thought the basic unix thang was you have a set of
small tools that do a simple task well and join them together to do
what you want (mind you, some of the GNU tools seem to have lost this
idea ;-) and, yes, there is always more than one way of
separating fur & feline.

>Funny you should mention a Mac.  The other day my boss got a strange error
>trying to fire up MAE, the Mac emulator for Solaris/HP-UX.  I tried to find
>out where the heck this message was coming from.  So of course I tried

Yeah - we have a lot of users here that use the OpenLook filemanager
(or filemangler as I prefer to call it).  They just cannot resist
using spaces or, even worse, the "&" in their file names.  Most of the
time it is ok but if one of those file names hits a shell somewhere
then they wonder why things aren't working... sigh.

How about just documenting it in the grep man page with words like "it
is safer to do this if your file names contain spaces or other
punctuation characters".  Helps the new users out there find out about
sed as well as find...

Brett Lymn, Computer Systems Administrator, AWA Defence Industries
  "Upgrading your memory gives you MORE RAM!" - ad in MacWAREHOUSE catalogue.