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Bug#43773: dpkg: purge and remove options make a pause, then parse arguments

On Mon, Aug 30, 1999 at 04:28:04PM -0400, Ben Collins wrote:
> > As the subject line says, these two options (--remove and --purge) first
> > make a short pause (accessing the database?), and after that their options
> > are parsed. I noticed that when I accidentally typed "dpkg -r", and it took
> > some time for dpkg to return the error. This is inconsistent with the
> > install option (--install), which parses the options (and reports the error
> > if there are not arguments) instantly. And it is annoying, to have to wait.
> > 
> > Also, there should be a short alias for the purge command, and both
> > "-p" and "-P" are available.
> I agree with the rest of this, but making a short, easy option to purge a
> package is bad. If you accidentally -r a package, it can be easily fixed
> with a reinstall and all configuration files will be kept. If you
> accidentally --purge, then you could have some problems. Force people to
> know exactly what they are doing in this extreme instance.

And people who are able to type "--purge" automagically know exactly what
they are doing? I don't think so. Also, typing "mke2fs hdXX" (while in /dev
directory) is far more dangerous than a "dpkg --purge libc6", yet, it is
shorter and arguably easier to type.

Careless people shouldn't be allowed into a super-user shell, full stop.
When they do come in there, they will trip on something one way or another.
Even if dpkg needs to be foolproof[1], adding this new alias (-p or -P) will
decrease dpkg foolproofness by an irrelevant percentage.

> I would say that the short pause before -r actually starts removing files
> is a good thing since it gives time to say "oh shit!" and hist ctrl-c,

Probably. But a short pause before it starts parsing command line arguments
is stupid (or at least I see no sense in doing that).

> but it will soon be irrelevant as cpu's and disks get much faster.

Unfortunately (although just on newer computers). Maybe there we should
force a pause when that time comes? Something to ponder about... :)

[1] "if you make program foolproof, only fools will use it"

enJoy -*/\*- don't even try to pronounce my first name

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