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Re: bin/44781: units(1) currency conversions are not dynamic or updated

The following reply was made to PR bin/44781; it has been noted by GNATS.

From: David Holland <>
Subject: Re: bin/44781: units(1) currency conversions are not dynamic or
Date: Sun, 9 Oct 2016 22:12:56 +0000

 On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 04:50:00PM +0000, wrote:
  > 	The units(1) program's currency conversion values were last
  > 	updated in 1993. While perhaps of historical interest, it's
  > 	not very useful. The program should either have a mechanism
  > 	for the user to trigger an update to those currency exchange
  > 	conversion tables, or they should be removed from the
  > 	program's units library (database).
 As we saw the other day, currency conversion values can vary on the
 timescale of seconds. But even when that kind of thing doesn't happen,
 they vary substantially on the scale of days to weeks. This is faster
 than any reasonable update schedule for the units(1) database.
 Since having wrong things in units(1) is not useful, I think these
 ought to be dropped.
  > 	The units program should have two databases (libraries)
  > 	for conversion units: one that's static as in the current
  > 	implementation, and a second one for dynamic units whose
  > 	contents can be fetched/update on a triggered basis by any
  > 	user of the program. Further, at minimum, the source of
  > 	the information should be documented for authentication
  > 	purposes, if not actually authenticated by the update
  > 	mechanism itself.
 Having "any user" update a system file requires having a setuid
 program downloading stuff off the internet, which isn't really the
 world's greatest idea.
 But ignoring that -- where does this proposed database come from and
 who's going to maintain it every week?
 David A. Holland

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