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Re: Future of /usr/bin/which in Debian?

Michael Stone wrote:
I think it doesn't matter how many which implementations are in debian.
If you want something with specific portable semantics, just use command
-v. The remaining consumers of which are either programs that (ipso
facto) don't care about semantic corner cases or are humans who want to
use which just because, and probably have strong opinions on how it
should behave (as, apparently, you do).

*I* don't; in Clint's categorization¹ I fall into (d) "wants there to be
exactly one version of `which` (except for all the shell builtins) so
that alternatives won't confuse and complicate things". The point I've
tried to make (too clumsily I guess) is the process of choosing one
should not be shoot-from-the-hip: there should be some consideration as
to which `which` would be the best fit for Debian. I hadn't seen any
evidence of that, until,

On Tue, Sep 21, 2021 at 05:41:49PM -0400, Nicholas D Steeves wrote:
I also think it may be more reasonable to prefer (by default, using the
alternatives mechanism) the more LSBish one (in this case GNU) rather
than the potentially more simple, clean, and full-featured one (BSD).

^ this is an example of exactly what I would have hoped took place to
decide upon which `which` we provided.

Thankfully we have the /etc/alternatives and Provides mechanisms to
affirm user choice in such cases, and I think most of us will agree this
is a totally equitable and reasonable compromise :-)

Unless there's a really compelling reason for there to be more than one
`which`, we could avoid the burden of alternatives entirely.

I should get off my soapbox now.

¹ Message-ID: <[🔎] YUgSrpfvtePSFIYn@scru.org>

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👱🏻	Jonathan Dowland
✎	 jmtd@debian.org
🔗	https://jmtd.net

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