Conor Schaefer on 24 May 2012 08:25:04 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] toy story2 nearly lost with rm*

On Thu, May 24, 2012 at 11:20 AM, Doug Stewart <> wrote:
On Thu, May 24, 2012 at 11:13 AM, Conor Schaefer
<> wrote:
> Straw man argument; that isn't what Rich was talking about. He was saying, I
> think, that rm's current functionality is a bit silly and outdated,
> considering the usability possible with current technology. Personally, I
> don't think there's any benefit to the way rm works: it just hasn't evolved
> (which, admittedly, is all of our faults, in some way).

In what way is it a straw man argument? When rm was initially
developed, disk space and CPU cycles were at a premium. Keeping extra
files around to be garbage collected later was a waste of both
precious resources.

We interpreted Rich's argument differently; I'll defer to his opinion on his own thoughts, rather than continue to speak for him.
You're 100% correct that it hasn't evolved since the epoch, basically,
and I think it comes down to the old UNIX philosophy: do one thing and
do it well (with piped inputs/outputs where possible!). `rm` is mighty
handy at deleting files, so there's little reason to change it.

The "proper" answer was suggested up-thread: btrfs/ZFS with
lightweight snapshots allowing you to pull chute if necessary.

Yes. I don't advocate modifying `rm` to be inconsistent with the cultural heritage of Unix, but it seems we're in agreement that new tools would be welcome. btrfs has me quite excited.

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