Discussion:
Grinding away at a release.
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Rob Landley
2017-06-05 04:43:16 UTC
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I meant to get one out on the first, but have a nasty cold (the person I
got it from had it all last week, it's a fun one).

The main delay is that I did a lot of work on
https://github.com/landley/mkroot over the past week, which depends on
the toybox release happening first (right now
http://lists.landley.net/pipermail/mkroot-landley.net/2017-May/000015.html
is its #1 FAQ). Next time around I should have the toybox test suite
running under that and doing root tests, but this time around I'm just
getting around to working on the release notes.

Commit d3267c60ee48 which Elliot wanted still troubles me: that's the
one that stopped outputting help text for things like:

$ ./ls -X
ls: Unknown option X

The problem is, if you don't already know to type --help there's no
indication where to go next.

I'm thinking of changing help_exit() to say something like "Run 'ls
--help' for more info." and then switching most of the lib/args.c calls
back to help_exit().

Rob

P.S. Release notes are an important part of the development process
because it means I review the development we did over the past few
months and confirm it makes _sense_. It's yet another layer of
code/design review. Alas right now I'm a little less coherent than I'd
like due to this cold...
enh
2017-06-05 05:53:15 UTC
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Post by Rob Landley
I meant to get one out on the first, but have a nasty cold (the person I
got it from had it all last week, it's a fun one).
The main delay is that I did a lot of work on
https://github.com/landley/mkroot over the past week, which depends on
the toybox release happening first (right now
http://lists.landley.net/pipermail/mkroot-landley.net/2017-May/000015.html
is its #1 FAQ). Next time around I should have the toybox test suite
running under that and doing root tests, but this time around I'm just
getting around to working on the release notes.
Commit d3267c60ee48 which Elliot wanted still troubles me: that's the
$ ./ls -X
ls: Unknown option X
The problem is, if you don't already know to type --help there's no
indication where to go next.
I'm thinking of changing help_exit() to say something like "Run 'ls
--help' for more info." and then switching most of the lib/args.c calls
back to help_exit().
that sounds reasonable to me (though i shudder slightly at the idea
that there are people out there who don't just automatically try
--help next). two lines of output for a typo is reasonable. 40 lines
isn't.

maybe a dummy "man" that just passes --help to the relevant command
wouldn't be useless? not sure what the ratio is of folks who know "X
--help" to those who know "man X".

in my personal experience the bigger problem -- one that's actually
been reported by various people for various commands -- is that --help
doesn't actually show you all the help. worst of all, it's broken
specifically for those complicated enough for the help to have been
broken up for inheritance. i've yet to have a "i don't know how to get
help" bug report. just "the help is missing" or "please add [something
that's actually there, but the help text doesn't mention]".
Post by Rob Landley
Rob
P.S. Release notes are an important part of the development process
because it means I review the development we did over the past few
months and confirm it makes _sense_. It's yet another layer of
code/design review. Alas right now I'm a little less coherent than I'd
like due to this cold...
_______________________________________________
Toybox mailing list
http://lists.landley.net/listinfo.cgi/toybox-landley.net
--
Elliott Hughes - http://who/enh - http://jessies.org/~enh/
Android native code/tools questions? Mail me/drop by/add me as a reviewer.
Rob Landley
2017-06-05 14:21:14 UTC
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Post by enh
Post by Rob Landley
I'm thinking of changing help_exit() to say something like "Run 'ls
--help' for more info." and then switching most of the lib/args.c calls
back to help_exit().
that sounds reasonable to me (though i shudder slightly at the idea
that there are people out there who don't just automatically try
--help next). two lines of output for a typo is reasonable. 40 lines
isn't.
Newbies will always be with us. If the group of people who will learn
this in future _don't_ vastly outnumber the current userbase, we're
doing it wrong. (Especially post Moore's law.)
Post by enh
maybe a dummy "man" that just passes --help to the relevant command
wouldn't be useless? not sure what the ratio is of folks who know "X
--help" to those who know "man X".
Alas man parses a specific legacy input format which packages provide,
so a dummy man that _doesn't_ understand that format blocks an
implementation that does. (It's on the todo list, but a ways down. Maybe
it could handoff for unknown commands but that's edge case city.)

I already implemented "help" which is the shell builtin version of man
that nobody seems to know about. Before --help you typed "help time" and
toybox gave help. (So does bash for that command.)
Post by enh
in my personal experience the bigger problem -- one that's actually
been reported by various people for various commands -- is that --help
doesn't actually show you all the help.
I'm aware of that. I have a widow open to work on it. It's one of the
things that's been holding up the release.
Post by enh
worst of all, it's broken
specifically for those complicated enough for the help to have been
broken up for inheritance. i've yet to have a "i don't know how to get
help" bug report. just "the help is missing" or "please add [something
that's actually there, but the help text doesn't mention]".
There is a half-assed solution: copy the help text redundantly into the
individual commands. I may do that for this release and fix it up
properly when I can.

(I have a window open to work on it, but I have a nasty cold, Japanese
class in 45 minutes, $DAYJOB doing something else entirely these days,
and getting mkroot into releasable shape at a lot of my spare time this
month.)

Are there any commands other than "top" people have been complaining
about a lot?

Rob

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