Re: [hackers] [sbase] [PATCH] *sum: Ignore -b and -t flags

From: Michael Forney <>
Date: Thu, 2 Jan 2020 12:04:16 -0800

On 2020-01-02, Laslo Hunhold <> wrote:
> I would print something on stderr. POSIX is ignored often enough and a
> ton of scripts are using the cancerous GNU extensions and other
> extensions. If we just "ignore" them, there is no learning effect or
> push for change for script writers, so maybe we could add a warning
> while we ignore them, so when you run a script that makes use of these
> mostly useless flags (which we could also tell them), then this might a
> push in a good direction. What do you think?

I'm well aware that POSIX is ignored often. I send patches to projects
every time I run into a script using non-POSIX options that break
compatibility with sbase. But in this case, POSIX is not really
relevant since as I mentioned, these are not POSIX tools, and there
aren't many different implementations (BSDs have their own md5(1),
sha256(1), ...), so coreutils is essentially the standard.

Who are we to decide that -b and -t are not be valid flags for sha*sum
and should not be used? I ran into a script that used `sha256sum -b`,
but how could I justify removing that option to upstream?

The flags may be useless on operating systems that sbase supports, but
the "rb" is a valid mode for C99 fopen ("r" opens as a text file), so
there must be operating systems where it makes a difference. Removing
-b may break the script on those operating systems.
Received on Thu Jan 02 2020 - 21:04:16 CET

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