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bug#6056: base32 output for md5sum sha1sum etc.

From: Alan Curry
Subject: bug#6056: base32 output for md5sum sha1sum etc.
Date: Fri, 30 Apr 2010 16:49:39 -0500 (GMT+5)

Jim Meyering writes:
> tags 6056 + moreinfo

I've given all the moreinfo I could. I thought "It's a standards-track RFC"
plus "seen in the wild" would have been enough. And the applications where
it's relevant (Gnutella, Bitzi) are pretty well-known.

> > md5sum ... |
> > perl -anle 'use Convert::Base32;\
> > $h32=3Duc(encode_base32(pack("H40", $F[0]))); print "$h32  $F[1]";'
> This is a strong argument not to encumber the tool
> with a new option.

Since it's broken, I saw it as an argument the other way. The "16to32"
converter is just complex enough that attempts to do it freehand will not
quite be right.

But seeing a GNU maintainer argue against a new option based on the
bloat/benefit ratio is a pleasant surprise. From the people who gave us
sed -i (that's just a redirect and a mv) and grep -r (why learn to use find
when you can just add recursion to every tool). I don't want to fight this
trend too hard.

Alan Curry

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