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Re: Changing the default simlink to sh [was: Password file with over 3000 users.]

Craig Sanders wrote:
> i just posted the following few paragraphs to someone else in private
> mail. maybe they'll help you to see the point:
> it is incumbent on those who are proposing a change to demonstrate:
> 1. that the change has significant benefits
> 2. that the change does not cause problems
> 3. that the benefits greatly outweigh the problems caused
> and,
> 4. that there is no viable alternative to the proposed change

You are repeating again, so it forces us to repeat also. I think you had
better re-read the backlog to see somebody's else point, but if you
still didn't get it, then I'll have to write it again.

1. The significant benefits are: faster, lighter, and more cross
comparabilities with the Debian embedded systems. Another one is a
better compatibility with BSD systems that wont have bash by default
(you need to set it up manually or depend on it). This last one is,
IMHO, very important. Another one is that scripts with bashism will be
detected immediately, and that's great, they will be modified quicker.

2. It doesn't cause any problem for scripts written with #!/bin/bash,
only for those who were badly written with #!/bin/sh instead when
expecting bash. These scripts HAVE to be modified, and it's not a very
big deal anyway.

3. See point 1, I think it's clear there are some very big benefits, and
the only problem is badly written scripts that can be modified really

4. The alternative is to setup bash, and restor the link as it was, or
to fix the badly written scripts. Both solution are really easy...

> in short, don't do unneccessary harm and don't violate the principle of
> least surprise.

People that DO read Debian news and things like that will know in
advance, and have quite a big amount of time to fix.

> respect is earned, not an automatic entitlement.

For sure, you are not earning respect when writing this way to others.

> btw, regardless of what POSIX sh should or shouldn't be, on debian,
> /bin/sh has always been bash. and has been documented as being bash.
> see "man sh" - it clearly states that it is bash and it documents the
> features of bash. it is entirely reasonable for a debian user to use the
> features AS DOCUMENTED, whether you or POSIX or anyone else thinks that
> is "correct" behaviour or not.

But lucky, things evolve. It's not because one thing exists, or have
always been in a way, and is documented as it is, that it shouldn't be
changed if there are some good things behind the move. Debian
maintainers will simply update the documentation... Also, nobody forced
anyone to call the wrong shell, and it was never documented this way.
Also, if "man sh" brings the man page of bash, that doesn't mean
anything but the fact that bash is currently used when calling sh (the
sh man page is just a symlink to the one of bash...).

I could find so many example of things that have been in a way for
decades, and that one day, changed. And there was always some people
against evolution. I have many example in mind, but I wont give any, as
automatically, you'll say it's a fullish one for whatever reason. But I
believe you are smart enough to understand my point without giving you
yet another car example...


P.S: Once again, people are NOT stupid because they have different point
of view. Saying so IS disrespectful, and not only for the one you are
writing to, but for all the people reading this list. IMHO, by default,
you should respect the people reading you, especially in a public lists.

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