Subject: Re: Suggestion: keep binary data out of /etc
To: None <>
From: maximum entropy <>
List: current-users
Date: 02/09/1999 20:22:49
>Date: Tue, 09 Feb 1999 14:19:49 -0500
>From: "Steven J. Dovich" <>
>My concern is not with what happens with non-line-structured files which
>contain binary data. Cases where current behavior would indeed be
>meaningful stand to be broken if we adopt this sort of change. I worry
>about tools that try too hard to second guess the user, particularly
>when they use simple-minded heuristics.


In my workplace, I often deal with files which contain NULs but are
otherwise plain text.  These files are produced by external vendors,
so I have no control over the format.  I would find it *extremely*
annoying if I had to look in a man page to find out some stupid switch
I know I won't remember, every time I wanted to grep through one of
these files.

There's no way anyone can convince me that refusing to grep such a
file by default is The Right Thing.  As somebody else stated earlier
in this thread: if I wanted that sort of stupidity, I'd be running

Invert the meaning of the flag, if it's going to be added at all.

entropy -- it's not just a good idea, it's the second law.