At 10:01 AM -0400 4/25/01, John W. De Boskey wrote:
>Hi David, Brian,
>    Thank you for taking the time to reply. I hope you were
>able to review the patch also.

Every time you have asked for people's opinions, they have
said that it seems wrong to made add a specific option to
the 'cp' command to address a generic problem with the
'xargs' command.  You continue to pretend that this is not
a valid comment on your proposed change.  If you do not want
our opinions, then stop asking for them.

You then offer to do a similar update to 'mv', again to fix
the problem when using 'mv' with 'xargs'.  Will you also do
updates for 'scp'?  How about 'fs setacl'?  (an AFS command).
Other commands?  Why should we fix all these commands to
address a problem caused by using them with xargs?  Why not
fix 'xargs', at which point we don't have to care about any
list of commands (even weird ones like 'fs setacl') which
have this same problem.

>    I have reduced the runtime of the process so far by a solid
>hour.  My change to cp is the lowest level/minimal change fix
>which allows me to maintain a O(1) time constraint. I've played
>with (non-freebsd) versions of xargs already, and found them
>(the various algorithms in xargs) to be more expensive than the
>patch to cp.

It is inconceivable that the proposed patch to 'xargs' would
increase your running time.  I don't mean the standard '-I'
change, which would certainly destroy performance, but the
proposed patch to 'xargs' which solves your specific problem
in a general way.

I'm still curious as to why you think the proposed change to
xargs will cause you ANY performance problem.  I simply can
not imagine where you would get a performance problem from
the -Y idea (though I'm still tempted to change the letter
for that proposed option).

Dimi has written one or two different patches to xargs.  Did
you try any of them?  (ignore the fact that he used '-I' as
the letter for what was supposed to be the NEW option, *that*
was a mistake!).  How DID that patch effect your running time?

>    I realize you folks are not here, and cannot examine the
>processes I have to deal with first hand.  I can only simply
>ask you to trust that the work I and others have done while
>coming to the conclusion that the cp patch is the best
>alternative is correct.

It isn't so much that we don't "trust" you, we're just
wondering why the patch to 'xargs' does not solve the same
problem you're trying to solve.  We could also ask you to
"trust" us, in that we already know the exact problem you
are describing, and we *are* trying to address it.  I've
hit the exact same problem in the past, it's just that I've
always solved it by writing a short script.

If we are going to open the floor to adding non-standard
options to standard unix commands, then it seems much better
to add one option to one command, instead of adding options
to a list of commands.

>    On a different note, I have spoken with my mentor
>(seems funny calling him that these days) Jordan, and his
>response to my email was:
>     I think you should just commit the cp changes and
>let the xargs weenies debate themselves silly if they
>want to. :)  The two issues are not really related.
>    I must say at this point, I tend to agree with him.

I think the problem is that this *discussion* has rambled
off in several different directions, many of which have
no bearing to your situation.  That doesn't mean we aren't
honestly trying to come up with a good general solution
which *is* directly related to your problem.  It just means
that we're tossing in a few extra things in addition to
the solution for your situation.  We should probably fix
your problem first, and discuss the rest of it later.

The "xargs weenies" have also offered an explicit patch that
could be tried, but that patch is being ignored by you.  It
is not a matter of talking ourselves to death, it's a matter
that we're looking for feedback from anyone who wants to
respond to the proposed xargs changes.

If you need an immediate fix, I'll be happy to change Dimi's
patch to use a different letter, and commit the change later
tonight.  We'll forget this "ask for input" stage, if Jordan
really finds it so bothersome.

Garance Alistair Drosehn            =   [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Senior Systems Programmer           or  [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute    or  [EMAIL PROTECTED]

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