/bin/ls vs .dotted files

Dan Cross crossd at gmail.com
Sat Sep 15 08:09:48 PDT 2012

On Sat, Sep 15, 2012 at 8:29 PM, Matthew Dillon
<dillon at apollo.backplane.com> wrote:
>     I'm less interested in what people thought was correct 30 years
>     ago, or even 10 years ago, and more interested in what makes the
>     most sense today.  The reality is that if someone is just doing a
>     basic 'ls' ungarnished with options they probably aren't interested in
>     dot files.  It's a convenience that wasn't imagined 30 years ago
>     because one didn't have ten thousand applications installed 30 years
>     ago.
>     It looks like older versions of linux had the root/-A behavior, but
>     newer versions do not. At least for gnu ls.  In fact, considering how
>     much 'ls' has forked over the years, I don't think a historical view
>     is particularly helpful any more.
>     I'm leaning towards making root and non-root behavior the same for ls,
>     meaning not turning -A on for root by default.  Insofar as I can tell,
>     that is where the larger community has been heading over the years.
>     Even in FreeBSD where -A is still turned on for root, there were clearly
>     enough people who wanted to turn the blasted thing off that they added
>     a -I option.

If you are going to make a change, I suggest adding a '-I' and making
the default -A for *all* users.  Perhaps if people saw how much the
applications they install are littering their directory namespaces,
pressure would build to come up with a more sensible convention to
handle configuration.  Having an arbitrary class of files that are not
displayed by default is non-intuitive and just weird.

        - Dan C.

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