Subject: Re: tail argument(s) continue, thousands homeless
To: None <current-users@NetBSD.ORG>
From: Eric Haszlakiewicz <haszlaki@UAccess.NET>
List: current-users
Date: 08/19/1997 06:20:45
> > cat means 'concatenate this file to (by default) my terminal'
> Therefore,
> `cat -f File1 File2 File3 File4' means "what the hell are you talking about?"
        exactly the same thing tail +0f File1 File2 File3 File4 means.
> > My point is that just because the functionality is in tail shouldn't exclude
> > it from cat. Someone looking for this feature might never think to use tail
> > to do this, if they really do want the whole file.
> Just because the functionality exists doesn't mean it needs to be in cat.
> Why shouldn't cat have an option to send its output to the printer?  To
> someone's email account?  Why shouldn't cat be able to fsck the disk first
        because it makes sense to have a -f option and it's intuitive.  what
cat does is output files to stdout.  Forget about it being called "cat",
originating from concatenate, what it does it read and output for immediate
view or use.  Sending the contents of a file to someone's email account
isn't something you'd expect from a program meant to simply output a file.
Outputting an entire file isn't really what you'd expect to use tail for,
you'd expect to use cat for that.  That you can do that is rather a side
effect of the positioning option to tail.  I think having an option to
continue listing a file after you get to the end is a more reasonable option
to have than all the current options besides -unbuffering the output.  After
all you could always do "cat | sed <someline> | awk <someprogram>" to
implement those.  Then again why use cat?  rm cat.  alias cat tail +0

>  I've *used* systems where
> programs routinely had dozens of completely unrelated options just because
                                             ^^^^^^^^^ I'd hardly say this.

> Anyway, if you're going to display files on a terminal, you want to use "less"
> not "cat" ("oh, but we could add pagination to cat, and it could even fire up
> X windows so you could have a scrollbar, too!").  "less" has a follow-EOF
> mode as well as everything else you could possibly want for viewing files on
> a terminal screen -- and nothing else.
        ah so less has a follow-EOF mode.  I would have probably never thought
to look for this feature in a paginator: meant to split it's input into
pages.  If I want it to keep going I might not want it to stop.

	Anyway, tail +0f work fine.  Some patches for cat I have work fine.
I just had to respond to keep this wonderfully interesting thread going.