[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

bug#58502: We should not deprecate egrep and fgrep

From: Sam James
Subject: bug#58502: We should not deprecate egrep and fgrep
Date: Thu, 13 Oct 2022 18:52:51 +0100

> On 13 Oct 2022, at 18:46, Sam Trenholme <maradns@gmail.com> wrote:
> After spending nearly an hour updating all of the scripts in the test
> framework for one of my open source projects to no longer use egrep,
> I’m going to say it:
> We should not deprecate egrep and fgrep
> egrep and fgrep have been around since the 1970s, were in wide use
> well over 25 years ago on the SunOS machines we used at the time, and
> are widely supported, e.g. Busybox includes an fgrep and egrep.
> Even the Posix spec acknowledges that that should remain supported for
> the foreseeable future:
> “The old egrep and fgrep commands are likely to be supported for many
> years to come as implementation extensions, allowing historical
> applications to operate unmodified.”
> See https://pubs.opengroup.org/onlinepubs/9699919799/utilities/grep.html
> Here is the amount of headache I went through to replace egrep with grep -E:
> https://github.com/samboy/MaraDNS/commit/afc9d1800f3a641bdf1bf14d39802443a34c2b70
> There are countless other shell scripts out there on countless
> machines which still use these commands. We should not lightly break
> widely deployed software, especially software which only needs two
> one-line shell scripts.

Yep, I really do agree -- and Iv'e already provided examples of things
which did break in the wild. Just make it a GNU extension and call it a day.

While I sympathise with the maintainers' perspective, it's pretty
clear that in reality, nobody actually realised it was "obsolescent"
and in fact actively using it in new scripts.

Really, speaking from my perspective, distribution maintainers have
got enough going on with various fires (Clang 16, OpenSSL 3,
time64 migration, ...) that handling various trivial-but-numerous
grep bugs on top is not very helpful :(


Attachment: signature.asc
Description: Message signed with OpenPGP

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]