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Re: [Nmh-workers] mhshow flag: -combined ?

From: Paul Fox
Subject: Re: [Nmh-workers] mhshow flag: -combined ?
Date: Sun, 23 Mar 2014 15:01:21 -0400

ralph wrote:
 > Hi Ken,
 > > > > perhaps -concat/-noconcat ?
 > > >
 > > >That's good, but why not -cat for catenate, where cat(1) gets its name.
 > > 
 > > Huh, I always thought that cat(1) was short for conCATenate
 > No, cat(1) is named after http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/catenate
 >     $ curl -sS http://www.plan9.bell-labs.com/7thEdMan/vol1/man1.bun |
 >     > sed -n '/\.TH CAT/,/^-cat /p'
 >     -.TH CAT 1
 >     -.SH NAME
 >     -cat \- catenate and print
 >     $

well, my april '86 4.3BSD manual index agrees with you:  "cat --
catenate and print".  (for some reason i only have the index volume,
not the actual man page.)  my '82 Bell Labs "System 5.0" (no, not
System V) manual says "cat -- concatenate and print", and the text
uses the word "concatenate" as well.  none of which prove anything. :-)
unfortunately i can find no mention of "cat" in any of the
"retrospective" articles in my copy of the 1978 Bell System Technical
Journal devoted to UNIX.  "ls", "wc", and "sort" seem to have been the
favored example programs.

in any case, i agree that "-cat/-nocat" is better than my "-concat/
-noconcat" suggestion.


 > > (at least that's what the man page says).
 > Some palwtry GNU excuse for a man page referring you to info(1).  :-) I
 > wouldn't expect them to know their Unix history.
 > > I don't know if there was something called "con" back then.
 > There's wasn't.  There was no clash.  They just chose their words
 > carefully.  Similarly, tr(1) is transliterate, not translate.
 > > -concat makes sense to me.  -cat ... well, it doesn't make as much
 > > sense to me.
 > I'd expect nmh users to be Unix users familiar with cat(1).  I'd expect
 > it to make sense to them for that alone?
 > On the question of whether the option should be named so the default is
 > the -no-less version, I don't think that matters.  More important is a
 > negative term isn't sought out to make that true so a double-negative
 > results when -no is prefixed.
 > Cheers, Ralph.
 > _______________________________________________
 > Nmh-workers mailing list
 > address@hidden
 > https://lists.nongnu.org/mailman/listinfo/nmh-workers

 paul fox, address@hidden (arlington, ma, where it's 38.5 degrees)

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