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Re: new tar behavior and --wildcards

[I'm not on Debian-devel, so please CC me]

Bdale Garbee wrote:
The new tar behavior with respect to wildcards is not a change I
introduced just for Debian, it's a new upstream change that appears to
be quite intentional and well documented, as per this text from the tar
info docs:

   The following table summarizes pattern-matching default values:

   Members                Default settings
   Inclusion              `--no-wildcards --anchored
   Exclusion              `--wildcards --no-anchored

   ---------- Footnotes ----------

   (1) Notice that earlier GNU `tar' versions used globbing for
inclusion members, which contradicted to UNIX98 specification and was not documented.

Although maybe that it was not documented, it was widely used, and it exists for at least 6 years. So upstream should fix documentation instead of tar behavior. As documentation is not part of Debian, it does not matter for Debian anyway.

Obviously, the problems reported with various Debian utilities are due
to the default now being --no-wildcards for inclusion combined with a
dependency on the footnoted "feature" of previous versions of GNU tar.

Since this seems to have been an intentional behavior change by
upstream to better align with a published standard, I'm uninclined to
fight it, and think our best response is to update our utilities to
include the --wildcards option, with a suitable versioned dependency on

This decision makes tar completely incompatible. Programs which worked fine with tar for 6 years are suddenly broken, and now you have to have two versions - one for 'tar' before this brokeness, which do not pass --wildcards, and one for this broken 'tar', which passes --wildcards. And older version on newer 'tar' extracts nothing, while new version on older 'tar' fails with an unknown option error.

Maybe it could be default for tar's POSIX mode, but I have no idea why GNU mode behavior should be changed in any way.
							Petr Vandrovec

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