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Re: Problems with echo. (echo period)

From: Benoit Sigoure
Subject: Re: Problems with echo. (echo period)
Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2007 08:43:09 +0200
User-agent: Internet Messaging Program (IMP) H3 (4.0.2)

Quoting Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden>:
Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2007 15:17:52 -0700 (PDT)
From: Aaron Shatters <address@hidden>
Cc: address@hidden

Documentation from microsoft:

This is not a bizarre consequence... this is a documented use case suggested by the supplier of this shell.

I suppose that I am not in the position to dispute this argument. I can say with certainty that allowing for this one case would not be a difficult change, because I've already done it...

Sorry, I don't see any real gain in fixing this one case alone;

I disagree. This `echo.' thingy is a "common idiom" on Windows and I think it's
worth using a small kludge (that is: add "echo." in the list of builtins) in
order to support it.

problem you needed it for can be solved in any number of other ways
that do not require changes to Make.

Yeah, you're right.  He could be rewriting his Makefile.  But what if he's got
thousands of Makefiles in hundreds of projects?  Yes, he could do that with a
script.  But then, what about the other people who (sadly) have to work on
Windows where this "idiom" is so commonly used?  Will they also have to write
their own scripts?

And on top of this, your
suggested change was an ad-hoc kludge that doesn't scale well to other
similar consequences of the way cmd parses commands.

That's true. Of course it would be better to completely support everything, but
we clearly agree that this would require much more work.

I'm sure support
for ``interesting'' cmd features like "copy a+b+c+d=xyzzy" can be put
to much more useful work than "echo.", but it cannot be solved by
ad-hoc tweaks of the table of built-ins.  That is why a more general
solution, if done cleanly, will get my support, while your suggestion
does not.

Well, I disagree here.  I think it's worth adding a small kludge if it can
address a common problem.  It'll take two lines in the code (one to add the
builtin, one line of comment to explain the kludge) and the whole community
will benefit from this very slight improvement.


Benoit Sigoure aka Tsuna
EPITA Research and Development Laboratory

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