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Re: Allow users to find "--" argument documentation

From: Bernhard Voelker
Subject: Re: Allow users to find "--" argument documentation
Date: Tue, 23 May 2023 22:21:30 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:102.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/102.11.0

On 4/21/23 01:20, Dan Jacobson wrote:
If we read
(info "(coreutils) cat invocation")
we also get told about
(info "(coreutils) Common options")

But if we read e.g.,
(info "(find) Invoking xargs")
we never know about
(info "(coreutils) Common options")
even though they also apply.
So unlike cat, for xargs, even if the user has exhausted all the
documentation steps, man, --help, INFO, he will never learn about "--".

Sure, (info "(coreutils) Common options") says "In fact, every GNU
program accepts ... these options."

The ellipsis "..." stands for "(or should)" in the original coreutils Texinfo
manual.  It's not a must to accept "--".  E.g. while find(1) accepts it, the
double dash "--" is not really useful due to the way the tool is expected to
parse its arguments.
The man page of find(1) describes it:

  A double dash -- could theoretically be used to signal that any remaining 
  are not options, but this does not really work due to the way find determines 
  end of the following path arguments: it does that by reading until an  
  argument comes (which also starts with a `-').  Now, if a path argument would 
  with a `-', then find would treat it as expression argument instead. [...]

That's great, but some don't directly or indirectly document that fact.

An true, the man page of xargs(1) didn't describe "--" until now.
Done with the attached, and pushed at:

Thanks for the report.

Have a nice day,

Attachment: 0001-doc-document-double-dash-option-delimiter-for-xargs.patch
Description: Text Data

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