Alex Merry alexander.merry at
Sun Sep 17 15:11:59 PDT 2006

On Sunday 17 September 2006 22:53, Robert Connolly wrote:
> On Sunday 17 September 2006 12:38, Alex Merry wrote:
> > I happen to agree with the FSF that programs should not change
> > their behaviour because their name has been changed, but that's
> > just personal preference. I think there should be an override
> > option that selects the digest independently of the executable
> > name, at least.
> It's possible to move /usr/bin/md5sum to /usr/bin/md5sum.coreutils,
> and have a /usr/bin/md5sum.openssl script, and /usr/bin/md5sum
> symlinked to one, but if they both do exactly the same thing with
> exactly the same output and options, I don't see the point.

Well, my preference for programs not performing operations depending on 
their name is more a general principle that doesn't necessarily apply 
in this case. Busybox-style calling semantics is there for a good 
reason in Busybox, but is unnecessary in most systems. However, I 
accept that not everyone agrees with me, and that's fine, and it does 
seem pointless to replicate code unnecessarily in creating sha1sum, 
md5sum etc etc.

However, if someone does want to change the name, they should be able to 
use the program regardless, even if it means using an extra option. 
Scripts also need this consistency - plenty of makefiles allow the 
changing of called program names ($INSTALL, $MKDIR etc) and while this 
script is HLFS-specific and is unlikely to become the standard for UNIX 
distributions, I think it should be coded on the basis that it might.

Anyway, this is altogether too deep a discussion over the adding of a 
simple option :-P

Alex :-)

Computer Monkey to the Pelican,,
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