Globbing (was Re: HAMMER update 10-Feb-2008)

Jeremy Messenger mezz7 at
Mon Feb 11 19:43:23 PST 2008

On Mon, 11 Feb 2008 20:54:43 +0000, Oliver Fromme wrote:

> Dave Hayes wrote:
>  > Simon Schubert writes:
>  > > I don't see ANY reason why to increase it.  There is simply NO
>  > > POINT in doing so.  It will ALWAYS be a limit.  Limit keeps being
>  > > limit, thus no change in limit necessary, as it doesn't change the
>  > > situation.  QED.
> I agree with Simon.
>  > Granted, "echo * | xargs" is easier on the argument buffer.
>  > Personally, since I use MH for my mail, I'd rather do "grep foo *"
>  > than "echo * | grep foo" on the folder containing spam to fish out
>  > what I'm looking for.
> For interactive work at the shell prompt it's not a big deal.  You can
> use "rm *" or "grep foo *" or whatever, and if the expansion exceeds the
> argument size limit, you'll notice that immediately, so you know you
> have to use xargs or a different method.
> The problem is rather shell scripts.
>  > Why not, in fine UNIX tradition, make a sysctl tunable for the
>  > argument space, and make the default what we have now?
> I don't see any advantage.
> And there's clearly a disadvantage:  People will increase the limit to
> "fix" their broken scripts and Makefiles. Or even worse, they will write
> scripts that are broken from the start, and they won't even notice.
> In fact it wouldn't be a bad idea to _lower_ the limit, so people become
> aware of the bugs and have an incentive to really fix their scripts.

I will choosing to increase the limit rather than poke to Linux folks to 
change their scripts. Most of time, they will saying that these scripts 
work just fine on Linux, so fix your BSD.


> Best regards
>    Oliver
> PS:  No, that last suggestion wasn't meant to be serious.

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