On 18/02/18 10:41, chadweis...@nym.hush.com wrote:
>> On 12/08/2017 11:38 AM, Eric B wrote:
>>> Hello,
>>> I am using coreutils version 8.27 on Fedora, and I don't see this fixed in 
>>> 8.28's NEWS.
>>> $ seq 1 --help
>>> seq: invalid floating point argument: ‘--help’
>>> Try 'seq --help' for more information.
>> Interesting bug!
>>> We should be able to put the options anywhere and not necessarily before 
>>> any 
>>> arguments.
>> Yes, when possible.
>>> And even if not (e.g. POSIX conformance overrides,)
>> POSIX does say you have to write 'foo -- --help' if you want to
>> guarantee that --help is treated as a literal argument rather than
>> option, but it also says that the moment you specify '--help' (or any
>> other parameter starting with two dashes without the -- end-of-options
>> parameter), you are already in undefined territory.  So we can do
>> whatever we want when encountering '--help' - which is part of the
>> reason WHY the GNU project prefers making 'foo args --help' print help
>> output where possible.
>>> --help should be handled specially to conform to the GNU coding standards. 
>>> [1]
>> Yes.
>> But the reason that it fails is because we use getopt_long(...,
>> "+f:s:w") - where the leading '+' specifically requests that we NOT
>> allow option reordering.  Why? Because 'seq' is MOST useful if it can
>> parse negative numbers easily.  We deemed it more important to support
>> 'seq 2 -1 1' without requiring the user to write 'seq -- 2 -1 1' - but
>> in doing so, it also means that we can't reorder options, so any obvious
>> non-option (like '1' in your example) makes all other parameters
>> non-options (including '--help' in your example).
>> It might be possible to do a two-pass parse over argv: one that looks
>> just for --help (and where treating -1 as an option is a no-op), and the
>> second that actually parses things in order now that it knows --help is
>> not present.  But that's a lot of code to add for a corner case, so I
>> won't be writing the patch; but I also won't turn it down if someone
>> else wants to write the patch.
> Hello,
> I've taken a stab at fixing this problem because it affects me fairly often.
> Instead of using a two-pass system, I check if any of the args we scan are 
> --help or --version and bail if we see either.  See attached patch.
> The bad side of this approach is that the -f, -s, and -w options and their 
> associated long options aren't handled so `seq 1 -w 2 10` still shows an 
> error.  Also, it's a kludgy sort of fix, so I completely understand why you 
> wouldn't want to include it.  But at least it's a step in the right direction 
> to give help when we can instead of an error.
> Chad

Thanks for looking at this again.
You attached the wrong patch.

A helper function to prescan argv to look for --help and call usage()
or --version and call version_etc(), while bailing itself
if it encounters '--', does seem useful to have in seq.
Though note it probably shouldn't support abbreviations like --h etc.

BTW other commands that use '+' with getopt() to exist option
processing early are tr, basename, pathchk, printf.
Though all those could interpret --option as a valid argument
and so wouldn't be appropriate to treat like this.
Likewise for all the commands the exec, like chroot, env, ...
as --options are very often passed to the delegate commands.


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