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bug#30907: mv return value.

From: Eric Blake
Subject: bug#30907: mv return value.
Date: Thu, 22 Mar 2018 17:00:25 -0500
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:52.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/52.6.0

On 03/22/2018 04:53 PM, Paul Eggert wrote:
On 03/22/2018 12:17 PM, Jorgen Harmse wrote:
My preference is a non-zero exit status when mv does not move/rename the file.

Hmm, this might be doable. POSIX says that the mv exit status is 0 if "All input files were moved successfully" and is >0 if "An error occurred". With mv -i, if the user declines a move and there is other file then neither case applies, so mv can yield either 0 or nonzero as an exit status. Of course someone would have to write the code and (more importantly) the documentation to do it that way, but I think your request is a reasonable one.

I'd argue the opposite: 0 implies success ("I successfully moved all 0 files that you interactively approved for me to move"), while 1 implies failure ("I failed to move a file, AND printed an error message why"). When the user declines to move a file, we don't print an error message, so that should NOT be treated as an error, but successfully skipping the file. We didn't fail to move the file, because we didn't even attempt to move the file. That is, interactive decisions can only reduce the set of files to attempt to move, and not be treated as errors on t heir own.

Eric Blake, Principal Software Engineer
Red Hat, Inc.           +1-919-301-3266
Virtualization:  qemu.org | libvirt.org

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