Subject: Re: Suggestion: keep binary data out of /etc
To: None <>
From: Christoph Badura <>
List: current-users
Date: 02/06/1999 23:26:14 (Simon Burge) writes:
>I don't understand the objection here - grep _not_ printing binary data
>was the reason I upgraded to the lastest version on my Ultrix/Solaris
>work machines.  I can't think of a _single_ case where the binary output
>would be useful.  You can always get the "normal" output with the new -a

So tell me one thing.   Since Unix doesn't have the concept of binary files
(or rather -- since it treats all files as an opaque stream of binary octets
-- no concept of non-binary files) how can grep possibly tell that a given
file isn't a binary file?

Will that depend on some obscure environment variable?
Will grep decide behind my back, that I don't really want to grep
those Japanese text files I'm telling it to look for string in?

Note also, that I grep object files regularly enough that having
to remember that I now need -a for what has "just worked" for the last 15
year would be utterly annoying to me.

Perhaps you should work more with Windows to find out for yourself how
annoying programs are which think they know better then you what is good for
you.  (That's where the reference comes from.)

Christoph Badura

Probleme mit Linux?  Versuch NetBSD!
Problems with Linux?  Try NetBSD!