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[bug #14459] xargs --show-limits is undocumented

From: anonymous
Subject: [bug #14459] xargs --show-limits is undocumented
Date: Wed, 7 Sep 2005 14:39:28 +0000
User-agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.0; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)


                 Summary: xargs --show-limits is undocumented
                 Project: findutils
            Submitted by: None
            Submitted on: Wed 09/07/05 at 14:39
                Category: documentation
                Severity: 3 - Normal
              Item Group: None
                  Status: None
                 Privacy: Public
             Assigned to: None
         Originator Name: Eric Blake
        Originator Email: address@hidden
             Open/Closed: Open
                 Release: 4.2.25
           Fixed Release: None



When debugging a recent xargs failure on cygwin, caused by a bug in cygwin's
sysconf(_SC_ARG_MAX), I found in the source code that xargs supports
--show-limits, and it turned out to be very useful in diagnosing the problem.
 This option is not documented anywhere, in xargs --help, the man page, or the
info docs.  Also, the source code builds the --show-limits longopt as mapping
to 'S', but does not accept a short opt -S.

For the remainder of this bug report, you can feel free to ignore my
requests, so long as the documentation accurately reflects the actual
behavior (as long as it is undocumented, the behavior can be considered a
bug, but if it is well documented, then I wouldn't be confused in the first
I thought it was rather confusing that --show-limits still insisted on
reading stdin.  I had to execute 'echo | xargs --show-limits' for a
non-blocking printout of the current limits.  I think it might be more
intuitive if --show-limits printed the limits, then quit without doing any
further action (thinking of --show-limits as a form of --help, but correctly
taking into account the affects of -s or other options).  On the other hand,
the limit information could also usefully be printed during --verbose, where
--verbose does imply continuing with execution by reading stdin.


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