bugGNU tar - Bugs: bug #63575, Typo in tar manual regarding links

 
 

bug #63575: Typo in tar manual regarding links

Submitter:  LGTR <lgtr>
Submitted:  Sun 25 Dec 2022 04:56:35 PM UTC
 
Category:  None Severity:  3 - Normal
Item Group:  None Status:  None
Privacy:  Public Assigned to:  gray
Open/Closed:  Open
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Fri 30 Dec 2022 05:37:16 PM UTC, comment #2: 

I know it's a limitation of the english language, depends on what you call which. If you call linked to either source or destination provided that both exist, then yes both are "linked" to each other. But I think this only adds confusion.

I would keep "linking" or "link" for source or linkname,
and "linked" for destination or target, as ln does:

ln [option]… [-T] target linkname


Let's create a simple archive:

$ echo "foo bar" > myfile
$ echo "team" > myfile2
$ ln -s myfile mylink
$ ln -s myfile mylink2
$ ln -s myfile2 mylink3
$ tar -cf archive.tar myfile myfile2 mylink mylink2 mylink3


As a general rule in english, verb + ing is for active when referring to a subject, while verb + ed is for passive, so I would use "linking" or "link" for active files or members (links), where you can perform some action:

  • ‘--hard-dereference’
  • ‘--keep-directory-symlink’
  • 'symlink-cast'
  • ‘--overwrite’
  • ‘--dereference’


Also this is the way it's described in the manual, as link not linking:

hrw-r--r-- gray/staff        0 2006-06-09 12:06 music link to blues

As a part of being active, with a simple "tar -tv" you can know to which member they point without any further investigation (they are active and tell you right away):

$ tar -tvf archive.tar mylink
lrwxr-xr-x nb/staff        0 2022-12-30 00:00 mylink -> myfile
$ tar -tvf archive.tar mylink2
lrwxr-xr-x nb/staff        0 2022-12-30 00:00 mylink2 -> myfile


However, listing a linked member doesn't tell anything about which (if) links or linked members point to it:

$ tar -tvf archive.tar myfile
-rw-r--r-- nb/staff        8 2022-12-30 00:01 myfile


Even there's no tar option to tell which (if) link(s) point to a given member:

$ tar --check-links -tvf archive.tar myfile
-rw-r--r-- nb/staff        8 2022-12-30 00:01 myfile


It has to be one with other command than tar:

$ tar -tvf archive.tar | grep ' -> myfile$'
lrwxr-xr-x nb/staff        0 2022-12-30 00:00 mylink -> myfile
lrwxr-xr-x nb/staff        0 2022-12-30 00:00 mylink2 -> myfile


Maybe you don't agree with me on this, but being used to reading lots of documentation this seems incongruent right away.

LGTR <lgtr>
Thu 29 Dec 2022 03:50:18 PM UTC, comment #1: 

I doubt it will improve anything. In particular, "linking files" looks like an outright misnomer.  "link files" are no better. "linked files" in this sentence refers to files that are stored in archive as links to an already stored member. That doesn't necessarily mean, they are hard or symbolic links in the filesystem).

Sergey Poznyakoff <gray>
Project Administrator
Sun 25 Dec 2022 04:56:35 PM UTC, original submission:  

The line
"The size field is the size of the file in bytes; linked files are archived with this field specified as zero."

"linked" should be changed to "linking" or "link".

LGTR <lgtr>

 

(Note: upload size limit is set to 16384 kB, after insertion of the required escape characters.)

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    Follows 1 latest change.

    Date Changed by Updated Field Previous Value => Replaced by
    2022-12-29 gray Assigned toNone gray

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