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[bug #64100] wish/request: please reserve -printf "%V %v %E %R %r %B %e

From: raf
Subject: [bug #64100] wish/request: please reserve -printf "%V %v %E %R %r %B %e %J %I %z %x %X %j"
Date: Tue, 25 Apr 2023 01:46:33 -0400 (EDT)

Follow-up Comment #4, bug #64100 (project findutils):

[comment #2 comment #2:]
> It might also be useful to allow the user to specify how the program should
respond if a format specifier is 
> (1) unknown to the implementation
> (2) known to the implementation but not supported on the platform
> (3) supported on the platform but not retrievable (example: AFS provides
sufficiently granular permissions that you can have only some metadata
accessible; similarly on Unix it can be possible to count the subdirectories a
directory has but not the files).
> Possible responses might include (a) failing immediately, (b) printing
spaces or (c) printing nothing and ensuring that the final exit status is

I don't think that any user will want to have to think about this or make such
decisions. The existing documentation states that any unknown format
conversion specifiers results in undefined behaviour. I think it would have
been much better for unknown format conversion specifiers to result in an
error. That would prevent any users from being sloppy. That's the only way to
ensure that adding new format conversion specifiers won't change the behaviour
of any existing commands. But it's too late to fix that. But since the
documentation has explained that the use of previously non-existent format
conversion specifiers results in undefined behaviour, it is acceptable to
replace that undefined behaviour with new defined behaviour.


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