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Re: standards/38754: /bin/rm rm.c consistancy with other bsds

On Mon, 26 May 2008, wrote:
> rm will display the usage message if there are no file arguments and
> the -f flag is used. This does not follow POSIX. POSIX says...
> "Do not write diagnostic messages or modify the exit status in the
> case of nonexistent operands."

You seem to interpret "nonexistent operands" to mean the number of
operands (not counting options such as the "-f" itself) is zero.

I believe that "nonexistent operands" should be interpreted to mean
operands that contain strings that do not refer to entities that exist
in the file system.

Thus, "rm -f" does not contain any "nonexistent operands"; it contains
no operands at all, and "rm" should print a diagnostic message
complaining about incorrect usage, and exit with an error status.

However, "rm -f /this/file/or/directory/does/not/exist" does contain
a "nonexistent operand", and "rm" should exit without any error or
diagnostic message.

--apb (Alan Barrett)

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