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Frank Tobin
Mon Dec 10 20:36:02 2001

Mike Touloumtzis, at 11:07 -0800 on 2001-12-10, wrote:

> Incorporating unrelated functionality like recursion is a symptom of
> a weak command line environment.  The recursive 'find' command line I
> posted here earlier isn't a hackish workaround, it's a best practice.

Not necessarily.  Your find example executes gpg on each file in the tree;
however, you've just increased the cost of computation by
n*(GnuPG-startup+shutdown) time.

Stretching your argument a bit further, I could argue that 'cp' shouldn't
take multiple source arguments, which is kind of silly.  There is a
balance between ease of use, performance, and 'cleanness' that needs to be

> Which is better, to have every random tool implement recursive
> functionality in mutually incompatible ways, or to have a few general
> purpose tree walking tools like 'find', which you can use to make any
> tool recursive?

Your general-purpose-tree-walking tool maybe should be a library call, so
that minimal work need be done to implement recusive application.

Frank Tobin