Subject: Re: ftp and tar annoyances
To: Jonathan Stone , Todd Vierling <>
From: Brad Salai <>
List: current-users
Date: 11/14/1997 10:12:15
At 5:45 AM -0800 11/14/97, Jonathan Stone wrote:
>Todd Vierling <> writes:
>>On Fri, 14 Nov 1997 wrote:
>>: Yes, I think it is sort of counter-intuitive that in the case of
>>: "-xpzvf" order matters, while in "xpzvf" it doesn't.
>>Well, it's actually very intuitive in the case of the dash:  see getopt(3);
>>it's much more standard. In the case without the dash, you're working with
>>_historic_ tar options.  On several tars on other platforms, this is also
>>the case.
>I thought we were talking about the tar we ship, not standards.
>The problem is that GNU tar doesn't allow mixing of long -- options,
>like unlink, and the historic usage.  And we need --unlink for
>unpacking distirbution sets.  And there's no standard (short)option
>for --unlink.  Hence, the problem for us traditionalists who've worked
>tar commands into our motor-skill sets.
>You invoked standards. What do the standards have to say about the
>behavour of `tar --unlink'?  Hmmm?
>Personally, I think it would be nice to fix tar so --unlink allowed
>the old-style flags. Can we do that?
>If not, why not add a `U` option (equivalent to --unlink) to both the
>`historic' flags and the getopt(3) flag set?  Who *cares* if it's
>nonstandard? You just said historic tar is nonstandard anyway, so
>we're in undefined territory, just like --unlink.

As a user, this seems like a convenient change.


>Or are we headed for a standards-weenie-vs-good-engineering argument?
>BTW, what does our pax do?  Wasn't there talk of subsituting that for
>GNU tar sometime this year?

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