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Bug#1003653: Revision of removal of rename.ul from package util-linux

Christoph Berg <myon@debian.org> writes:

> We were discussing the bug in last week's tech-ctte meeting, and the
> gist of the discussion was that, in a ideal world, Debian would be
> shipping the util-linux version as /usr/bin/rename to match what other
> distributions are shipping, but that since we have been shipping the
> Perl rename for the past 20 years, a proper transition would be very
> hard.

I understand the appeal of this for cross-distribution compatibility, but
we haven't been compatible with other distributions for a very long time
and there haven't seem to have been that many complaints.  Even the
request that set off this discussion was, if I recall correctly, only
about getting access to the util-linux version, not about changing the
default /usr/bin/rename.

Balancing against this is the fact that the Perl rename, while a bit more
complicated to use, is significantly more useful.  The util-linux rename
can only do simple substring replacements, not even regexes (and at least
in my experience a simple s/// expression is the most common use case for

Neither version is a strict subset of the other (the util-linux
--interactive and --symlink arguments don't appear to have equivalents in
the Perl version), but the Perl version also supports -0 so that it can be
used safely with find/xargs.

It's unfortunate that the command-line syntax for the two programs is
different in such a way as to make it impossible to merge them and write
one program that supports the syntax of both.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)              <https://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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