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Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2013 02:49:17 +0100
From: magnum <>
Subject: Re: Markov stats file as a command-line option

On 16 Jan, 2013, at 2:16 , Frank Dittrich <> wrote:
> I think using --markov[=...] plus --markov-stats (i.e., 2 options is
> confusing.

Maybe. A workaround for the [technical problem with the] name-clash would be to name it -mkv-file= and this would work fine. I would not mind including that as a hidden option.

> Based on this logic, you would have to add
> --incremental=... --chr-file= or something similar as well.

Well if someone really wants it I would not mind including that too as a hidden option.

> And adding the stats file to the existing --markov=option instead isn't
> that easy, because there are already so many different optional parameters.
> You would have to make sure the stats file name cannot be confused with
> the markov section name.
> That means. you would need to specify both section name and stats file
> name. Then, you would need to make sure that the stats file name cannot
> be confused with the other optional parameters.
> The file name shouldn't contain colons. And it would need to contain at
> least one character that isn't '0' - '9' or '-', so that it cannot be
> mistaken vor the LEVEL (or MINLVL-MAXLVL).
> Not that this can't be done.

I can't think of a good syntax either. I do not think adding it to the existing --markov option is a way to go.

> If you really create different stats files with such a high frequency,
> and keep using all those stats files instead of just the last one, you
> might as well use a script which adds a few lines to the end of your
> john.local.conf.

A method I have used with Incremental is to have a one-off throwaway section permanently prepared in john.local.conf like this:

	File = $JOHN/custom.chr

Whenever you want to try a one-off chr file, just create it named "custom.chr" and use it. Next time, over-write it. But this assumes you don't want to use several at once, or save them for the future (OTOH if you happen to find a really good one, why not rename it and add a section for it). The same trick could be used for Markov of course.


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