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bug#9531: md5sum: confusing documentation for file type output

From: Reuben Thomas
Subject: bug#9531: md5sum: confusing documentation for file type output
Date: Sat, 17 Sep 2011 16:06:30 +0100

I attach a patch which makes simpler changes than those I suggested
before. In particular, for the man page I just replaced "` '" with
"space" because I can't see a way to put a non-breaking space into
help text which will then also work in the man page after going
through help2man (perhaps a Unicode non-breaking space would work, but
it doesn't seem sensible to try!).

>From bd0ed380c7050a1b55fca71da075fd9853442b1c Mon Sep 17 00:00:00 2001
From: Reuben Thomas <address@hidden>
Date: Sat, 17 Sep 2011 16:05:17 +0100
Subject: [PATCH] md5sum: clarify what is meant by binary/text flag.

        src/md5sum.c: Clarify that we are talking about input mode.
        doc/coreutils.texi: Ditto.
 doc/coreutils.texi |    6 +++---
 src/md5sum.c       |    4 ++--
 2 files changed, 5 insertions(+), 5 deletions(-)

diff --git a/doc/coreutils.texi b/doc/coreutils.texi
index 8ab70c1..7b37f60 100644
--- a/doc/coreutils.texi
+++ b/doc/coreutils.texi
@@ -3612,7 +3612,7 @@ md5sum address@hidden@dots{} address@hidden@dots{}
 @end example

 For each @var{file}, @samp{md5sum} outputs the MD5 checksum, a flag
-indicating a binary or text input file, and the file name.
+indicating binary or text input mode, and the file name.
 If @var{file} contains a backslash or newline, the
 line is started with a backslash, and each problematic character in
 the file name is escaped with a backslash, making the output
@@ -3631,7 +3631,7 @@ The program accepts the following options.  Also
see @ref{Common options}.
 Treat each input file as binary, by reading it in binary mode and
 outputting a @samp{*} flag.  This is the inverse of @option{--text}.
 On systems like @acronym{GNU} that do not distinguish between binary
-and text files, this option merely flags each input file as binary:
+and text files, this option merely flags each input mode as binary:
 the MD5 checksum is unaffected.  This option is the default on systems
 like MS-DOS that distinguish between binary and text files, except
 for reading standard input when standard input is a terminal.
@@ -3645,7 +3645,7 @@ The input to this mode of @command{md5sum} is
usually the output of
 a prior, checksum-generating run of @samp{md5sum}.
 Each valid line of input consists of an MD5 checksum, a binary/text
 flag, and then a file name.
-Binary files are marked with @samp{*}, text with @samp{ }.
+Binary mode is indicated with @samp{*}, text with @samp{ } (space).
 For each such line, @command{md5sum} reads the named file and computes its
 MD5 checksum.  Then, if the computed message digest does not match the
 one on the line with the file name, the file is noted as having
diff --git a/src/md5sum.c b/src/md5sum.c
index 9de34a5..0a67d28 100644
--- a/src/md5sum.c
+++ b/src/md5sum.c
@@ -205,8 +205,8 @@ The following three options are useful only when
verifying checksums:\n\
 The sums are computed as described in %s.  When checking, the input\n\
 should be a former output of this program.  The default mode is to print\n\
-a line with checksum, a character indicating type (`*' for binary, ` ' for\n\
-text), and name for each FILE.\n"),
+a line with checksum, a character indicating input mode (`*' for binary,\n\
+space for text), and name for each FILE.\n"),
       emit_ancillary_info ();


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