Re: [hackers] [sbase] [PATCH 11/11] tail: Process bytes with -c option, and add -m option for runes

From: Evan Gates <>
Date: Tue, 27 Dec 2016 09:41:09 -0800

On Tue, Dec 27, 2016 at 5:55 AM, Laslo Hunhold <> wrote:
> well-spotted! Still, it's _very_ counterintuitive to call the flag
> "-c". Instead of adding a non-portable m-flag, it would even sound
> better to me to add a b-flag for byte-offsets.
> It all depends on how many scripts rely on this behaviour. Can you give
> an example? I thought cut(1) was the tool of choice for extracting
> headers and such things.

I think deviating from POSIX here is a bad idea. Every deviation from
POSIX means that our tools cannot be used in another situation and
pushes prospective users away. If the user wants characters instead of
bytes we have tools to do that, don't surprise the user by doing
something different than every other implementation.

P.S. I too found -c confusing the first time I expected utf8
characters, but remembering these tools were created with ascii in
mind, I think of -c as char and it all works out...
Received on Tue Dec 27 2016 - 18:41:09 CET

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