commandline syntax

Zack Weinberg zack at
Wed Apr 7 14:52:00 CEST 1999

On Wed, 7 Apr 1999 12:45:58 -0500, Richard Lynch wrote:
>At 3:13 PM 4/7/99, Werner Koch wrote:
>>someone raised the question, whether to change the commandline syntax,
>>so that it is more like tar(1) or ps(1).  I have no POSIX specs so I
>>can't decide whether this is a good idea. Recent versions of ps(1) etc
>>give you a warning, that the use of - is depreciated.
>Unix ignoramus here:
>I'll be damned if I could ever figure out why the hell ps was bitching at
>me for doing things the way that has worked since 1960 something...

This is because the ps author wants to support both BSD and SysV
option syntax.  BSD ps users traditionally gave options without a dash
in front, SysV with.

If you get procps 2.0.0, you'll discover that it no longer gives that
warning message, but `ps -ef' does something different from `ps ef'.

>I don't see any benefit to losing the dashes.  Only grief in terms of
>backwards and forwards compatibility, and more hassle for scripts that want
>to just spit the file at gpg directly.

Agree here.


More information about the Gnupg-devel mailing list