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Re: [Nmh-workers] Request for sortm feature to implement arbitrary messa

From: Ken Hornstein
Subject: Re: [Nmh-workers] Request for sortm feature to implement arbitrary message ordering
Date: Thu, 26 Jun 2014 11:00:37 -0400

>I see Ken's point about using exit status, but I think it's too easy for
>a script to `exit 1' without meaning to give a comparison result, e.g.
>`set -e' is in place and grep, unexpectedly, doesn't find any matches.
>So I think stdout is probably the better channel.  I'd like to see  it
>be precisely defined as two bytes then EOF, second being `\n'.

I didn't really explain this in greater detail, but my thinking was that
the exit status would be defined to use non-normal exit codes.  For example,
10, 11, and 12 could be <, =, and >.  Or whatever.

>By implication, the comparison program is buggy if that doesn't hold?
>sortm(1) punts to qsort(3) for the hard graft and that demands
>consistency;  I think I'd like sortm to protect me from a buggy
>comparison program.

You know what?  Forget I said anything :-)

Personally, this falls under the umbrella for "nice to have, but not
something I want to implement".  Anyone who does should feel free!  These
ideas all sound fine; I'm kind of torn about the key-vs-cmp program, but
I think either one would be fine.  kre brought up some good points as well;
it might be useful to dig into what you're trying to accomplish under the
hood to see if there might be a better way.


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