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


Having joined the committee, I thought it best to try and get up to speed on this issue. Is my summary correct?


There are two "rename" programs, one part of upstream util-linux "rename.ul" and one provided by the rename package "rename.pl"[0]

For a long time, Debian's "/usr/bin/rename" has been rename.pl (via the alternatives system).

rename.ul is rename in some other distributions(RedHat; et al?)

The two renames have substantially different CLI syntax, making them unsuitable for an alternatives arrangement

#926637 asked for rename.ul to become a rename alternative; the maintainer explained why it was not a suitable alternative to rename.pl; they then stopped shipping rename.ul entirely in 2.35.2-5

#966468 & #982944 asked for rename.ul to return (though the latter rather confuses the removal vs alternatives issue)

None of the above bugs was linked with this TC bug (it would be normal to block them on this bug), which unfortunately meant the maintainer wasn't notified as early as would have been ideal

The maintainer's view is that there is too little value to having rename.ul on a system in a place where you would not expect it to be; and that further this even more strongly not be done in an "essential" package that is installed everywhere.


Assuming that's all correct, my feeling is that there is no particular reason for Debian's rename to stop being rename.pl, but that we should make rename.ul available to users who want it. I think the maintainer would be happy to move rename.ul into bsdextrautils (as /usr/bin/rename.ul)? Taking it out of essential, not considering it an alternative to rename.pl, and keeping it available for people who want it.



[0] called file-rename on my stable system.

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