Talk:Core utilities

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ln

Looks like ln is missing. It would be useful as reference for symlink, allowing to remove various explicit $ ln -s ... from articles. –– nl6720talk 16:53, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

It could be added, yes. Problem I see with crosslinking is that it is not easy to construct a sentence around it, because the target is the first argument. For example, try to crosslink ln -s /dev/null /etc/pacman.d/hooks/70-dkms-install.hook ..
"To disable the 70-dkms-install.hook hook, symlink its name from /etc/pacman.d/hooks/ to /dev/null." - works but is complicated. --Indigo (talk) 17:24, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
You could instead use cp -s foo bar, which creates a symbolic link bar to the first argument foo. At least I wish I'd have known about this earlier, rather than be confused every time on what's the link, and what the target, with ln. -- Alad (talk) 17:38, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
I don't know, a new section can indeed be useful to mention the counterintuitive syntax and the smart cp -s alternative, but about replacing symlink instructions with verbose instructions I tend to be against: compared to the more famous similar cases, I've always totally supported Help:Style#Package management instructions because it allows to easily link to packages and make sure that users are aware of all the package management best practices, but for example since the switch to systemd (with the short rc.d transition), I've always found it slightly hard to systematically enforce Help:Style#systemd units operations, which — I have to be honest — exists only as an adaptation of the older rule that was used to describe the more complex initscripts method to enable/disable daemons. Introducing a new similar rule for symlinks would feel even less natural to me, IMHO reducing the readability of articles. — Kynikos (talk) 05:07, 21 May 2016 (UTC)
I don't see how cp is better: cp -s foo bar does exactly the same as ln -s foo bar. Both tools have the -t flag to potentially swap the order of arguments.
I agree with Kynikos: there are no gotchas to be described, so the explicit command is as clear and brief as it can be. As for Help:Style#systemd units operations, I believe one of its points is to provide a choice between starting and enabling units, which is very cumbersome to describe with explicit code blocks.
-- Lahwaacz (talk) 11:22, 21 May 2016 (UTC)
You can read the cp -s as "Copy foo symbolically to bar", 'copy' is more known/associated with the action and, thereby, intuitive than 'link' ("Link foo symbolically to bar"). --Indigo (talk) 12:42, 21 May 2016 (UTC)
My demo for #Rewrite contains ln in the overview table. --Larivact (talk) 13:10, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
I did think about planing to write a section on ln sometime this decade. Luckily that might not be necessary now. -- nl6720 (talk) 07:15, 30 August 2018 (UTC)

Harmful aliases

alias mkdir='mkdir -p -v'

You mostly don't need -p, if you use this alias and mistype a parent directory it creates a bunch of directories instead of failing.

alias mv='timeout 8 mv -iv'

This is a gem. If you use this alias and move a large file to another filesystem, timeout can terminate the move, resulting in an incomplete file without you noticing.

alias rm='timeout 3 rm -Iv --one-file-system'

And lastly all "security aliases" are dangerous because you get used to them, resulting in potential data loss when you use another system / user that doesn't have these aliases.

I think the uses of timeout should be removed and the danger of "security aliases" should be noted with Template:Warning.

--Larivact (talk) 10:32, 10 June 2018 (UTC)

I don't see why there should be any aliases in Core utilities, the additional command line options they add can be explained without aliasing the command. I'm for removing them all. -- nl6720 (talk) 11:51, 10 June 2018 (UTC)
I removed the timeout commands and added notes about "security aliases".--Larivact (talk) 07:11, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
I guess this can be closed. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 14:55, 14 August 2018 (UTC)

Proposal to delete

There is nothing Arch-specific about this page; it is just a miscellany of material from man pages. It adds nothing to the wiki other than a maintenance overhead. Jasonwryan (talk) 23:03, 3 August 2018 (UTC)

I agree, the majority of the information in the article seems to be directly copied from man pages and is completely redundant. Especially considering gnu's online documentation. For deletion to happen maybe all the articles that link back to this page can be edited to instead link to the man page for the program it is referencing. For future reference: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Special:WhatLinksHere/Core_utilities Meskarune (talk) 23:27, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
There's no man page that provides an overview like this article does, though, be that on the functionality of the various tools or their available upstream documentation. -- Alad (talk) 10:45, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
I wanted to write essentially the same. This page duplicates information from man, but it provides overview which is lacking in manual. It is also a good starting page for new users (although the validity of this point is debatable given arch is oriented toward experience users...). This page may also contain some information specific to arch. By the way, there are no 'costs' of maintaining this page. --Mxfm (talk) 12:17, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
This website actually provides a much better and more detailed over view than the current arch wiki page does: https://www.gnu.org/software/coreutils/manual/coreutils.html . My original idea was to edit the page to lightly introduce those programs essential for installing Arch Linux as a sort of pre-req. Having a list of commands and links to outside docs would help get new users started. Knowing what you need to know and having key words to google is half the battle when you are first starting out. However the current page that exists now is very redundant, nearly all of the content is copy/pasted from man pages and the gnu docs are far better anyways so I guess I can see the case for deletion, or if not deletion, then a total rewrite and change in scope.Meskarune (talk) 19:23, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
It's certainly detailed. Presenting end-users with an encyclopedia on the most basic topics they are expected to be familiar with is not the best idea though.
As I mentioned below, I believe it's only a few sections that are problematic. Those should be addressed rather than delete this article and throw out the baby with the bathwater. -- Alad (talk) 20:23, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
This is what scares me about discussions such as Help talk:Template#Creation of Template:Out of scope: this page links to some other articles, e.g. Users and groups, Man page, File permissions and attributes, Partitioning, File systems, RAID, Sudo, Systemd; imagine removing all non-Arch-specific content from them just because they are providing overviews and links to external resources, what would be left of our wiki? -- Kynikos (talk) 08:47, 5 August 2018 (UTC)
The cost of maintaining the page refers to keeping the page up to date with the latest man pages for each package. That actually is a pretty high cost when the content on the page is literally copied and pasted from man pages and in order to stay updated you have to keep up with that. In that sense it takes far less time to just link people to the latest man page to read.Meskarune (talk) 19:23, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
I don't see where things are literally copied, apart from Core_utilities#Long_format which should arguably be removed from the article. Otherwise, this page is essentially what you describe - links to man pages, as well a short motivation why they are linked in the first place.
Mentioning "cost" is is a strange thing when none of the major contributors to the article have participated in this discussion. (I last did major changes in 2016 for example.) -- Alad (talk) 20:23, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
[1] -- Alad (talk) 20:26, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
I still think the page is bloat; and that Arch users should be familiar with these tools *before* they install Arch. However, perhaps removing the obvious filler (the less long options) or the material that should reside on it's obvious parent page (vim as a pager), would be a start? Jasonwryan (talk) 21:03, 8 August 2018 (UTC)

Adding descriptions to section names

Would it be possible to edit the titles for the commands? For example, in the table of contents just seeing "ls" isn't useful for a new person, but "ls - list files" would be. Maybe a very short description of function in each command name title would further help people find what they want to find in the article. Meskarune (talk) 19:55, 3 August 2018 (UTC)

There's already the table in Core utilities#File management so I'm unsure on the benefit -- Alad (talk) 10:47, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
I undid your revisions as I don't see the point of descriptions at all. Wiki articles are meant to be read, ToCs don't need to be self-explanatory. --Larivact (talk) 12:42, 9 August 2018 (UTC)

Links to install packages

In the intro paragraphs, the links to the packages that install the majority of core utils were removed: Special:Diff/532951 I think they should be added back in the article so people know what package brought those programs in. -- —This unsigned comment is by Meskarune (talk) 22:05, 12 August 2018‎. Please sign your posts with ~~~~!

Which package provide what utilities isn't that important because they are installed by default anyway, if sb. is interested they can easily find out with pacman -Qo file, so there is no need to add this to the article. --Larivact (talk) 03:50, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
My demo for #Rewrite shows packages in an overview table. --Larivact (talk) 13:06, 29 August 2018 (UTC)

Rewrite

The article duplicates man pages by explaining important flags and contains unnecessary examples (RTFM) and parts that would better fit into other articles.

I propose the following:

--Larivact (talk) 13:03, 29 August 2018 (UTC)