new expected behavior? src/bin/rm/rm.c

George Georgalis george at
Fri Jun 3 10:10:21 PDT 2005

On Fri, Jun 03, 2005 at 09:33:52AM -0700, Matthew Dillon wrote:
>:On Fri, Jun 03, 2005 at 08:47:12AM -0700, Matthew Dillon wrote:
>:>    But I'm still not sure what we should do about interactive foreground
>:>    operation.  This may seem a bit presumptuous, but I want -I to work
>:>    for me!
>:I'm still getting use to -I in default shell, I think it's okay and
>:I'll like it more when I'm use to it. The question seems if -f should
>:override -I (and -i).
>:Presumably, "\rm -rf" will always be available, though if -I is in a
>:shell, there's not much need to ever say -f (accept to avoid err in
>:scripts), just rm or rm -r; so, assuming the goal is minimal interaction
>:to get the job done as expected, the question is, should experienced
>:users have to disable -I or should dumb users stop using -f unless they
>:mean it?
>:Historically, I doubt anybody has ever depended on -f not overriding -i
>:(imagine that!); so, I favor -f to force, overriding -i and -I.
>:// George
>:George Georgalis, systems architect, administrator Linux BSD IXOYE
>    I've always considered -f to simply mean to have rm attempt to
>    override file perms.  I didn't even realize that it overrides -i
>    until you mentioned it... that actually sounds like a mistake to me,
>    it shouldn't do both!  I don't think we want -f to override -I.  -I
>    is not meant to be treated the same as -i.  -I is supposed to be a
>    non-intrusive 'smart' option.

I've always used -i in my shell, and -rf to override when I needed that
(sometimes just -r). It has been fine, but -I may be better, iff -f can
override it, otherwise I guess I'll use \rm in lieu of -f.

I guess the point I wanted across is, with -I, there is no need for a
dumb user to use -f, ever, but a regular user who uses -I, may at times
want -f to ignore errors and force the operation.

Whom exactly would be served by no -f override of -I? The -I will
allow users not to need -f, at all. The only people using -f are those
experienced (with another Unix) but not with -I, and those who want to
force it. Both cases may be a bit distant from the intended -I user. I
mean are you protecting users who use -f when they don't even need to?

// George

George Georgalis, systems architect, administrator Linux BSD IXOYE cell:646-331-2027 mailto:george at xxxxxxxxx

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