Subject: Re: Recursive grep
To: None <current-users@NetBSD.ORG>
From: Tom I Helbekkmo <tih@Hamartun.Priv.NO>
List: current-users
Date: 01/25/1996 12:45:37
In my opinion, the biggest problem with "just" adding a bit of code to
grep is _not_ related to complexity or portability.  It's redundancy.

I use VAX/VMS on a daily basis, and that system is a prime example of
this problem.  Wildcard expansion?  Each utility that wants it does it
on its own.  Directory traversal?  Again, each application that wants
to do it has its own code for it.  An integrated command line prompt?
Guess what, everything that does this under VAX/VMS has its own code
for it.  The result is that I keep missing these and other facilities
in VMS applications that don't have them, and -- much worse -- I keep
grumbling over how the various applications implement such features in
different ways.

Once we start stuffing useful little bits of functionality into
various individual tools, instead of generalizing the concepts as has
always been part of the "essence of UNIX", we invite problems with
internal incompatibility.  When lots of applications support "-R"
flags, and a couple of them have some fancy additional options, there
will be pressure to implement those in each of the other ones -- and
soon, every tool on the system will have 'find' built into it!  :-)

On Tue, 23 Jan 1996, James Graham - Systems Mangler wrote:

> There is nothing more repulsive to me than an environment in which
> everything is dumbed down to the point that getting details and
> finding more information is like pulling teeth.

Been forced to use Microsoft Windows NT lately, have you?  ;-)

Tom Ivar Helbekkmo