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Question about cron behaviour (was Re: Bug#15258: cron shouts...)

(I posted this on debian-policy, and got zero-response (maybe because
the original Subject: looked like an bug system acknowledgement :-().
I would still like others to comment on this issue -- basically
introducing arbitrary differences from the upstream version.)
On 29-Nov-1997 12:52:45, Santiago Vila Doncel <sanvila@unex.es> wrote:
> Sometime, Steve Greenland closed this bug with the comment:
> > On 25-Nov-1997 19:02:24, Santiago Vila Doncel <sanvila@unex.es> wrote:
> > > Package: cron
> > > Version: 3.0pl1-39.1
> > > Severity: wishlist
> > > 
> > > My /var/log/syslog contains entries like this:
> > > 
> > > Oct 14 17:00:00 cantor /USR/SBIN/CRON[200]: [...]
> > > 
> > > Could it be changed to simply "[...] /usr/bin/cron[pid] [...]"?
> > 
> > While I agree that it's ugly, it's a deliberate choice by Paul Vixie. When
> > cron forks to perform a command, it transforms argv[0] to uppercase, so that
> > the new process is easily distinguishable in ps listings, logs, etc. Because
> > it's a deliberate decision (as shown by comments in the code), I'm not going
> > to change it.
> > 
> > Aesthetically, of course, you're right...
> It may be a deliberate choice by Paul Vixie, but Unix is case sensitive,
> and /USR/BIN/CRON is definitely *not* the program that is being executed,
> so the line is *wrong*.
> Since the program is free, we should be able to change it if we want.

Of course we can change it. However, I'm against introducing arbitrary
differences into the upstream sources. I can imagine log-analyzer
programs looking for both /usr/bin/cron and /USR/BIN/CRON, and I don't
want to break those by changing the name. Unlikely? Yeah, probably, but
the potential is there, and I don't think there is any real benefit to
the change.

> I think this is a bug, and we should fix it.

The original author's intention and reasoning are clear. I don't think
anybody is really likely to go looking for a file named /USR/BIN/CRON.

> I'm reopening it.

I don't want to get into an close-reopen war, but I also have no
intention of changing this unless everybody (ok, vast majority) thinks
I'm wrong.


Steve Greenland

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