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Re: temp file suffixes: mktemp DWIM

From: Jim Meyering
Subject: Re: temp file suffixes: mktemp DWIM
Date: Tue, 03 Nov 2009 14:53:48 +0100

Eric Blake wrote:
>> Here's another way to do it:
>>     mktemp --suffix=X foo-XXXXXX
> Nice idea.  Putting it all together, how about the following semantics:
> mktemp a => error, no run of X
> mktemp aXX => error, run of X is too short
> mktemp XXX => generates 3-character name (if possible)
> mktemp aXXX.b => generates 6-character name (if possible)
> mktemp --suffix=.b aXXX => longer spelling of the above line
> mktemp aXXX --suffix=.b => likewise, if not POSIXLY_CORRECT
> mktemp aXXXbXXX => generates aXXXb123 (only the last run changed)
> mktemp --suffix=X aXXX => only way to generate a123X instead of a1234
> mktemp --suffix=.txt file => error, no run of X
> mktemp --suffix=.txt aXXXb => error, explicit --suffix requires trailing X

Nice, comprehensive set of examples.

> The changes from the existing behavior:
> Addition of a --suffix option (does it warrant a short option?  Probably not
> until it has had more field testing).  Explicit use of this argument requires
> trailing X in the template.

I agree.

> Addition of DWIM magic if --suffix is not present.  Currently, mktemp aXXX.b
> errors out, stating that there are too few X's in the template.  The new
> behavior recognizes any run of X, not just at the tail, and this goes a long
> way to meet user expectations:
> http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=548316

All sounds good.  Thanks!

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