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bug#22696: ls output changes considered unacceptable

From: Paul Eggert
Subject: bug#22696: ls output changes considered unacceptable
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 2016 09:36:00 -0800
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:38.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/38.5.0

On 02/16/2016 08:58 AM, Ruediger Meier wrote:
Terminal output should be human readable not machine readable.

Sure, but under the old way of doing things, terminal output *wasn't* human-readable. For example:

$ ls
a?b  a?b  axb  c  d  e
$ rm  a?b  c  d
rm: cannot remove 'd': No such file or directory
$ ls
d  e

Here's the new behavior with the same set of files:

$ ls
'a?b'  'a'$'\n''b'  axb  c  'd  e'
$ rm 'a?b' c 'd  e'
$ ls
'a'$'\n''b'  axb

The new behavior is much more readable and understandable. Of course this is a contrived example (created via:

touch 'a
b' 'a?b' axb c 'd  e'

), but it's similar to situations that I run into all the time when teaching newbies. New users should be better off with the new approach, in ordinary interactive use.

I didn't comment on the original change, because I thought it was a no-brainer. Yes, there is a backward-compatibility issue, but users worried about compatibility should be using portable POSIX file names anyway, and 'ls' hasn't changed its behavior with portable file names.

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