Subject: Re: chown/chgrp problem: is "." a separator or part of a name ?
To: None <>
From: der Mouse <mouse@Rodents.Montreal.QC.CA>
List: tech-userlevel
Date: 05/06/2000 15:20:15
> imho, . should not be allowed as part of a username.

> there are probably *plenty* of characters that "shouldn't" be allowed
> in usernames that aren't specifically disallowed.

I strongly disagree.  I believe even colons should be allowed, and that
disallowing them because of the historical accident that colons are the
field separator in the historicla passwd file format is a bug.

"UNIX does not prevent you from doing stupid things because that would
also prevent you from doing clever things".  "chown ..." is
a convenient shortcut, but there should also be something like
"chown -u user -g group ..." that is completely unambiguous, even in
cases where user or group contains a dot, or user begins with a dash,
or whatever.

IMO creating a username with a dot and then getting upset at chown is
an instance of pilot error.  If you insist on doing unusual things, you
must expect unusual results...but it is not for the OS to tell you that
you mustn't do them, out of fear that the results will confuse someone.

					der Mouse

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