Read my first post before reading this thing so you'll be on the right track!!!!

Warren Block wrote (19.9.2003  17:41):
>Says who?  cat works fine on binary files.  The problem you are having
>is that people are using cat to *display* files.  "Fixing" that problem
>could break cat for its more standard use: cat binaryfile | filter |

No, that's not exactly my problem as I wrote in my first post my problem is
people using cat on directories. But then another guy came in with the binary
files. And as the problem is both I went with binary files.

>> Other *NIX systems seem to have done this to their cat program so why
>> can't FreeBSD?
>See above.

Try to run for example "cat /bin" in Linux, HP-UX, Solaris and other *NIXes and
I'm 90% certain that they will not show the directory but an error message
saying something. But then FreeBSD spits out crap which I can't see the point
of ever using anywhere even when piping a tube up your ass! But since newbies
do this frequently it shouldn't be possible to do so.

>> and why is this already done to less and not cat?
>less is made to display files.  It's the correct tool for the job.

And you mean that cat is built to show directories and that's the right job for
cat. Man I must of mised that in school as I thought ls was meant to show
directories, but hey that's my problem, right? So you mean you use ls to show
file contents and cat to show directories which workes fine, Or?

Ruben de Groot wrote (19.9.2003  13:34):
>So why don't you for example alias cat to cat -v in your system profile
>and login scripts? This will display non-printing characters so they are
>visible and don't mangle terminal settings.

So it's better for a newbie to get understandable jibrish from cat when run on
directories then an error message stating that they are trying to run cat on a
directory like ls says when they try to run ls on a file. But as I said earlier
who cares, right? Other OSs have only had this for "a couple" of year so why
would we!!!

>Why not? I regularly use constructs like this:
>cat somebackup.tgz | ssh someserver "cd /somedir; tar xzf -"

Yes, but do you regularly pipe "cat /bin" to another program. If so, why?
Because isn't cp ment to copy files and directories!

>Because less != cat. It has a completely different functionality.

I'm aware of that! But as less doesn't show directory contents like ls doesn't
show file contents I thought it would be a good example.

>> Dan Nelson wrote (18.9.2003  17:33):
>> >
>> >I find that hard to believe.  Do you also want to block catting of
>> >executables, gzipped files, jpeg files, database files, and audio
>> >files?  No OS does that by default.  Maybe you should teach them how to
>> >reset their terminals when they cat binary data; ^Jreset^J should work,
>> >assuming your TERM variable is set right.

No, I don't necessarily want to add all of that but the directory part would be
a good start. And while we're on the subject of different file types why
doesn't ls support coloring of different file types like in Linux. As it would
make finding certain files easier by coloring them differently depending on
their ending.

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