Dangerous use of 'rm'

Aled Morris aledm at qix.co.uk
Tue Jul 11 11:01:41 BST 2006

Stephen Allen wrote:

> "ls <mega_long_path> -al"  does not work.
> Is it a FreeBSD thing or a general configuration thing?

I think it is a heritage thing.

Traditional Unix commands are implemented like this:

    while (getopt)
        process flag

    if (any remaining arguments) {
        foreach (remaining arguments)
            take input from file named "argument"
    } else {
       take input from stdin

if that makes sense.  "keep it simple" is the idea.

In english, flags are read first but as soon as the first non-flag is 
encountered, the rest of the command line is treated as input files (or 

I would strongly advise against changing this behaviour.


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