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Date: Fri, 18 Sep 2015 14:02:36 +0200
Subject: Re: s/party/hack like it's 1999

Date: Thu, 17 Sep 2015 12:33:28 -0430
From: Manuel Gómez <>
Subject: Re: s/party/hack like it's 1999

On Thu, Sep 17, 2015 at 12:33:28 AM, <> wrote:
> On Thu, Sep 17, 2015 at 11:33 AM,  <> wrote:
>> Federico Bento <>
>> […]
>> As you can see, our beloved 'cat' cheated on us. Why?
>> Because instead of displaying the character-sequence, the escape sequence
>> \033[XA (being X the number of times) performed some action.
>> And this action moves the cursor up X times, overwriting what is above it X
>> lines.
>> But this doesn't affect only 'cat', it affects everything that interprets
>> escape sequences.
>> [… examples with head, tail, more, curl, wget …]
>> 'diff' also interprets escape sequences and so do the resulting patches
>> [… examples with diff …]
>> Hint:
>> 'less' doesn't interpret escape sequences unless the -r switch is used,
>> so stop aliasing it to 'less -r' just because there's no colored output.

> Not a single one of those programs does anything to its input that
> ought to be considered any form of interpretation in the sense you
> imply.  They simply produce outputs that correspond to their inputs.
> If that output is later presented to a terminal emulator, *then* some
> characters happen to produce effects that go beyond simply displaying
> them as glyphs on a screen, one by one.
> There is absolutely nothing wrong with `head`, `tail`, `more`, `curl`,
> `wget` or `diff`.  They are not meant to “interpret” anything of the
> sort that is being addressed, and indeed they do not.  `less` *does*
> have special processing rules active by default for input sequences
> that would cause terminals to do anything special; indeed, the default
> behaviour of `less`, without the `-r` option, is the only mentioned
> behaviour that may be considered a form of interpretation.

Yes, that is correct. I should have rephrased that better, thanks for  
clearing that up.

>> It's no secret, most of us rely on 'cat' to view files. I guess this is one
>> black kitty, giving you bad luck.
> Perhaps “most of us” should use `view` to view files.

Also correct. There are several ways one can go about this, but the  
point is, do people actually do that? Do they take that extra care  
sometimes? :)

I'd also like to point out that the title should've been  
"s/party/hack/ like it's 1999", I guess that's what you get when  
you're trying to write up things fast, but that's not really the point  
of the post ;-)

Quoting "Cliff Perry" <>:

>> Interesting. I woul advocate usage of something like cat -A.
>>  - something I learned to find end of line chars.
>> [cperry@...rry ~]$ printf '#!/bin/bash\necho doing something  
>> evil!\nexit\n\033[2Aecho doing something very nice!\n' >
>> [cperry@...rry ~]$ chmod +x
>> [cperry@...rry ~]$ cat
>> #!/bin/bash
>> echo doing something very nice!
>> [cperry@...rry ~]$ cat -A
>> #!/bin/bash$
>> echo doing something evil!$
>> exit$
>> ^[[2Aecho doing something very nice!$
>> [cperry@...rry ~]$
>> Also, my terminal prompt jumped a line when doing the normal cat.
>> Cliff

Yes, there are several ways to go about this, but the point is that  
'cat -A file' isn't something that people do in their day to day lives!

I believe some adjustments to the script would make it not jump a line  
for other terminal emulators.

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