Re: test -nt/-ot behavior

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On Mon, Feb 22, 2010 at 11:33:53AM +0100, Guido Berhoerster wrote:
>
> It is not doing something "wrong", but my point (and that of the
> original reporter of
> http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=558989) is that
> it is diverging from established behavior in widely used shells
> such a ksh88, ksh93, bash, pdksh, and GNU userland, as I said
> this was even fixed in pdksh where it originally came from.  I
> don't know how many /bin/dash scripts there are which rely on
> this behavior from test -nt/-ot but it can't be that many and
> dash has only been called das since 2002.  On the other hand dash
> is being widely used as /bin/sh, e.g. in Ubuntu, Debian, and
> hopefully soon openSUSE.

Actually dash has been around since 1997, prior to 2002 it was
known in Debian as ash.  So this behaviour has been around for
more than a decade.
 
> If dash aims to be a POSIX compliant /bin/sh which is "as small
> as possible", why does it need test -nt/-ot/-ef at all?  BTW, why
> did you go with pdksh's test instead of the one coming with ash?

While dash does try to be minimal, existing features are not removed
unless there is a very good reason.

As to your second question, this behaviour is inherited from BSD
which is where dash came from originally.

Cheers,
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