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Re: Coreutils head and tail problems

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Zack Weinberg" <>
To: "Andrew Walrond" <>
Cc: <>
Sent: Tuesday, August 26, 2003 4:58 PM
Subject: Re: Coreutils head and tail problems

> "Andrew Walrond" <> writes:
> > As I'm sure you know, head -1, tail -1 have been deprecated in favour of
> > head -n1 and tail -n1 in recent gnu coreutils, and indeed no longer
works in
> > the latest releases.
> >
> > But, a quick grep of 3.3.1 or mainline sources shows lots of instances
> > the old usage:
> These are deliberate and will not change.  GCC has to maintain
> backward compatibility with platforms which do not support head -n1,
> tail -n1, etc ... the issues you have found are merely the tip of the
> iceberg.

Yes; I've had problems building many packages because of this.

> Coreutils MUST continue to support the command line syntaxes that were
> removed from POSIX.1-2001, for at least the next five years.  Ten
> years would be better.  Forever would be better still.  And "support"
> means "silently accept, regardless of environment variable or
> compile-time settings."
> Please take this up with the coreutils maintainers.
> zw

Before I do (take it up with the maintainers); Is this an old argument had
many times over already? Ie should I bother?

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