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Re: (emacs+unix): How to have a file-name containing slashes, angle-bra


From: Xah
Subject: Re: (emacs+unix): How to have a file-name containing slashes, angle-brackets, etc?
Date: Wed, 27 Aug 2008 10:34:23 -0700 (PDT)
User-agent: G2/1.0

Dear Nikolaj Schumacher,

you might be interested in this article:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_thinking

For more about unix, you might be interested in my writings and
experiences about it.

★ The Unix Pestilence
http://xahlee.org/UnixResource_dir/freebooks.html

For some practical unix tips, see:

★ Unix Command Line Tools Tips
http://xahlee.org/UnixResource_dir/unix_tips.html

★ Mac OS X Command Line Tools Tips
http://xahlee.org/UnixResource_dir/macosx.html

★ Image Processing command line tips
http://xahlee.org/img/imagemagic.html

Also, i have a unix and emacs tip, here:

★ Emacs and Unix Tips
http://xahlee.org/emacs/emacs_unix.html

  Xah
∑ http://xahlee.org/

☄

On Aug 27, 7:05 am, Nikolaj Schumacher <address@hidden> wrote:
> Xah<address@hidden> wrote:
> > The issue in this thread we are currently debating is whether unix
> > support file names with non-alphanumeric chars and non-ascii chars.
>
> > I hope you agree the above is a good description of what we may be
> > debating. The issue is not, for example: “whether you can use char x
> > in a file name under a unix file system y”.
>
> Yes.
> Specifically we're also looking at your claim that unix is worse at this
> than Macs and Windows.  And we're looking at design issues, not
> individual bugs.
>
> > So, what does “support” mean here? Support doesn't mean whether a file
> > system allow certain chars in question. Support means users of that
> > system can use these chars in file name easily, as easy as any
> > alphanumeric chars.
>
> Fair enough.
>
> > My argument is that, unix for much of its history up to perhaps mid
> > 2000s when linux desktop becomes popular, does not support it.
>
> If the desktops resolved the issue, so did a lot of other tools like mc
> or Emacs+dired.  Are your doubts are based entirely on the command line
> environment?  If so, the argument might as well end here, because I
> don't consider an OS broken if one of its tools doesn't provide
> convenient access to all its features.  Especially since that same tool
> has the same issues in other environments.
>
> > One practical way to see why it doesn't support it is because people
> > simply don't use it.
>
> Sorry, but that's a flawed argument.  If it wasn't supported, people
> wouldn't be using it.  That doesn't make the converse true.
>
> > Why unix doesn't support these chars? There are many factors. For one
> > thing, unix shell tools is one bag of inconsistency that their quoting
> > mechanism differs.
>
> I don't understand what you are saying. Tools generally don't have
> quoting mechanisms, only the shell does.  Most unix shells are
> compatible with the Bourne shell and use the same (straightforward)
> quoting mechanism.  Most people don't use more than one shell.
>
> > Also, unix is typically used over telnet/ssh. Telnet doesn't not
> > support non-ascii chars thru much of its history... and
> > implementations vary wildly in quality... the bottom line is that if
> > your file names contain odd chars, you'll have problem using telnet to
> > work with them.
>
> That's an excellent example on why those HOWTOs suggest not to use those
> characters.  However, telnet is an internet protocol.  It is operating
> system independent.  You can't single out unix, because it is
> "typically" used with it.  This isn't an unix issue at all.
>
> Additionally, if implementations suck, that's a bug.
>
> > If you have experience in unix in say 1990s, you know as a fact that
> > unix just don't support “odd” chars. (odd here means basically anyting
> > other than [A-z0-9], “.”, “_”, “-”, “ ”)
>
> That's what we call a Totschlagargument here.
> You're essentially saying:  If you'd been there, you'd know I'm right.
>
> I'm surprised you've added space to the list, though.  Yesterday that was
> on the other side.
>
> > then, as someone else mention, there's non-printable ascii issues.
> > Unix allows a bell ring in file names! so thoughtful. Doing a file
> > listing wing “bing” and “bong”! and if you inadventaly have ohter
> > control chars in file name, expect your screen to be filled with
> > majibake.
>
> Yes, that's silly.  It's generally silly to have a bell character these
> days.  But that is (was) a shell problem.  Emacs can handle those files,
> for instance.
>
> > this is quickly written... i hope it convinces you.
>
> Honestly, I'm not sure what you're trying to convince me of.  That unix
> design is flawed in this regard, or that implementations in the 1990s
> mere broken.  I don't see how unixes are handling characters differently
> than other operating systems, because you can't even give me one
> example.  Additionally you stated that Macs don't have these problems.
> However Macs are unix (even UNIX) machines.  So how would this alleged
> design flaw not affect them?  Just because they are "typically" used
> from a GUI?
>
> > btw, who are you? what's your background anyway?
>
> Is that supposed to affect my credibility?
>
> regards,
> Nikolaj Schumacher




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