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Re: policy around 'wontfix' bug tag




On 05/02/18 01:32, Nicolas George wrote:
> Richard Hector (2018-02-05):
>> Actually, a good(ish) explanation is provided in a later bug, #729952:
>>
>> ------8<------
>> The date parsing feature exists in Debian only for compatibility with
>> upstream. It is a complete misfeature, and I would prefer that it didn't
>> exist at all. In an ideal world the entire idea of trying to utilize a
>> natural language parser would be scrapped in favor of a simple and
>> regular grammar. Unfortunately, it is what it is. The only way to use
>> the feature is to experiment until you find something that does what you
>> want. The corollary to that is that nothing can be changed, because
>> doing so would break existing scripts that were tweaked to perform
>> correctly using the current implementation.
> 
> This statement mixes good and bad.
> 
> The date parser is quite convenient, I use it frequently for small dates
> calculations, and I am not alone in that at all. That disproves the fact
> that it is a "complete misfeature".
> 
> The truth is that it is a badly-used feature. It is the same as the
> pretty-printed output of ls, with colors, columns, type suffixes, SI
> prefixes, etc.: it makes the output more readable for a human, less
> readable for a computer. It is good for interactive use, bad for script
> use. For script use, there are other tools, depending on the task.

Now that you mention it ... ls was where I started this adventure,
reading coreutils bugs :-)

And you mention SI prefixes - IMHO, the output of ls should be extended
to actually show 'GiB' rather than 'G' where that is what is meant.
Assumptions that the user 'knows what it means' are horrible things -
even when documented in the man page.

Richard
PS - please don't cc me; I'm on the list.

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