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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 02:06:36 +0200
User-agent: KMail/1.9.10

On Sunday 18 September 2011, Alan Curry wrote:

> [...] if you believed that having a
> "text file"/"binary file" distinction is a good idea at all. Which I
> don't.

Yep, we should look for the guys who invented O_TEXT and CRLF to give 
them a whipping.

But the only thing why I hijacked this thread is this from the manpage 
on POSIX systems:

       -b, --binary
              read in binary mode
       -t, --text
              read in text mode (default)

which is IMO confusing though it's correct because it makes no 
difference (except printing ' ' or '*').

First time I've read it I thought "WTF, are they emulating O_TEXT/CRLF 
crap by default or what?" I simply wanted to calculate md5sum from 
files but the manpage let me think that it does something odd per 
default. So I thought about using --binary always from now and 
re-checking all my existing md5sums. Finally I've noticed that the 
whole time I've thought about this was completely wasted.


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