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bug#25553: How many coreutils rely on tabs to align things (other, than

From: L A Walsh
Subject: bug#25553: How many coreutils rely on tabs to align things (other, than 'du'?
Date: Fri, 27 Jan 2017 18:33:57 -0800
User-agent: Thunderbird

Paul Eggert wrote:
L A Walsh wrote:
Are there other utils that rely on tabs to align
output as much as 'du'?

Sure. 'ls', 'fmt', 'cut', 'cat', 'pr',....

What would be objections to fixing 'du' or others
that rely on such?

It would depend on the proposed change.
I'm working on some loose ends, but basically,
First, it would default to providing no change.  ;-)

Through use of a switch it can expand the tabs to spaces
using a default of every 8th column (after 1) (using a
switch value of 'ExpandTo').

And with 2 env vars, TTY_TABSIZE & TTY_TABSET
it can re-entabulate the output to use the user's tabsize as related through the env vars.

The env vars cause no change in program behavior unless
the switch specifies 'AlignTo'.

I developed the 'tabout' feature in a 'tabout.c+h' file
and added it to 'du' -- but noted it was not the best way
to test, so wrote a driver-program, 'retab', to allow focus
testing on the retabbing code that does the retabbing on
files or stdin and sends the result to stdout.

...that's a rough description...

Will let you know as I finish off some loose ends and code

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