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Re: touch - cannot use options "backward"

From: Philip Rowlands
Subject: Re: touch - cannot use options "backward"
Date: Tue, 2 Nov 2004 14:21:58 +0000 (GMT)

For curiosity's sake, I've been trying to track down the pedigree of
this --backward option to touch, as although I think I've disproved its
necessity, it seems a useful idea.

To pick a random distro, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 took a
coreutils-4.5.3.tar.bz2 base, and patched it
("fileutils-4.1.1-FBoptions.patch" gives an idea when it was introduced)
to support --forward and --backward.

More recent (Fedora) RedHat distros have removed the option; these
comments from the package changelog:

* Mon Feb 16 2004 Tim Waugh <address@hidden> 5.1.3-0.1

- 5.1.3.
- Patches ported forward or removed.

* Sat Apr 05 2003 Tim Waugh <address@hidden> 5.0-1

- 5.0.

(I've not checked that precise "Patches ... removed" comment, it just
seems the most likely.)

To address the original requirement though, would it be useful for GNU
touch to support an "--offset" option, taking a signed [fractional?]
number of seconds to affect the target date?


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