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

From: Rüdiger Meier
Subject: bug#9531: md5sum: confusing documentation for file type output
Date: Sun, 18 Sep 2011 01:07:20 +0200
User-agent: KMail/1.9.10

On Saturday 17 September 2011, Jim Meyering wrote:
> Eric Blake wrote:
> > On 09/17/2011 07:50 AM, Rüdiger Meier wrote:
> >> Maybe you could start to correct it this way:
> >>
> >> 1. add option --textmode ...
> >
> > Rather, --text.  But yes, we need this option, so that --binary can
> > be
> md5sum already has a --text option.

Oops, how could I miss that.

> > default (like it was meant to be).  On systems where text and
> > binary
> --binary is already the default where it makes a difference,
> unless reading from a terminal.

> > are identical (per POSIX), you want the default to be ' ', not '*'.

> That is already the case.

So reading as text is the default where it doesn't matters?
This leave us with the bad thing that a ' ' md5sum calculated on POSIX 
systems makes the Windows user think he should validate the file 
using --text which would fail.
Or in other words you can never validate a ' ' md5sum unless you know 
about the platform which calculated it.

Hm, even I've tried on Windows cmd, mingw, cygwin ...

I could not find any case where the calculated md5sum differs when 
using --text or --binary. It's always --binary like. Is that 
mingw/cygwin magic?

See for example this text file with and without CRLF line feed,

on Posix system:
address@hidden:~/tmp> md5sum < text_lf
3290ec3c19a8a39362f7d70043f15627  -
address@hidden:~/tmp> md5sum < text_crlf
e452464ee760e85acf275f207a520147  -
address@hidden:~/tmp> tr -d '\r' < text_crlf |md5sum
3290ec3c19a8a39362f7d70043f15627  -

mingw binary used in Windows cmd:
C:\MinGW\msys\1.0\bin>md5sum.exe Y:rudi\tmp\text_crlf
\e452464ee760e85acf275f207a520147 *Y:rudi\\tmp\\text_crlf
C:\MinGW\msys\1.0\bin>md5sum.exe --text Y:rudi\tmp\text_crlf
\e452464ee760e85acf275f207a520147  Y:rudi\\tmp\\text_crlf
C:\MinGW\msys\1.0\bin>md5sum.exe --binary Y:rudi\tmp\text_crlf
\e452464ee760e85acf275f207a520147 *Y:rudi\\tmp\\text_crlf

C:\MinGW\msys\1.0\bin>md5sum.exe  Y:rudi\tmp\text_lf
\3290ec3c19a8a39362f7d70043f15627 *Y:rudi\\tmp\\text_lf
C:\MinGW\msys\1.0\bin>md5sum.exe --text  Y:rudi\tmp\text_lf
\3290ec3c19a8a39362f7d70043f15627  Y:rudi\\tmp\\text_lf
C:\MinGW\msys\1.0\bin>md5sum.exe --binary  Y:rudi\tmp\text_lf
\3290ec3c19a8a39362f7d70043f15627 *Y:rudi\\tmp\\text_lf


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