Bug#490605: debian-policy: please discourage the usage of echo -n, and echo in general
On 8 July 2012 19:22, Jonathan Nieder <email@example.com> wrote:
> In July, 2008, Raphael Geissert wrote:
>> As demonstrated by the following trivia, and also mentioned by SUSv3, the
>> echo built-in varies from implementation to implementation and thus should be
>> Shells tested: 8
>> Shells expandind backslashes: 5
>> /bin/echo does NOT expand
> I think it would make sense to discourage use of strings that might
> contain a backslash as arguments to "echo" in some informative
> document such as devref or in a footnote to policy.
And the use of strings that might begin with a dash character (minus
sign, actually), as demonstrated by the incompatible behaviour with
strings such as "-e", "-E", "--", "--version", "--help".
> The discussion of this bug seems to have clarified that use of
> echo and "echo -n" to print static strings is popular and not
> something that is going away soon.
I would prefer to back those statements up with real figures, but
let's assume for a moment that the opinion of those who have commented
on the report reflect reality.
> Does that seem like a fair summary? What do you suggest as a next
I think that proposing a wording based on the above is the next step forward.
Policy editors: do you have any suggestion as to where such
informative notes should be added? perhaps as another footnote to
section 10.4, referenced by "echo -n" exception?
Additionally, I think that the "echo -n" exception should better be
phrased in the following way:
'echo', if implemented as a shell built-in, must not generate a
newline when the first operand is '-n'.
Rationale: consistency with the other exceptions, where the name of
the utilities are first mentioned without any arguments.
Raphael Geissert - Debian Developer
www.debian.org - get.debian.net