[tex-k] ls -R

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Fri Oct 24 05:25:51 CEST 2003

under the assumption that UNIX claims that the output of one program
can be processed by an other, there is probably a bug in UNIX's ls
command which has some impact on web2c based TeX systems.

If you want to have some fun, just type:

touch `kpsewhich -expand-var=\\$TEXMFMAIN`/fonts/tfm/public/cm/a:

...and your TeX system is broken.

ls -R appends a colon to each directory.  Unfortunately, a colon is a
valid character in filenames.  The only character which is disallowed
in filenames is a slash.  So the slash is the only character which can
mark a directory reliably as a directory.

The problem is quite nasty because the user who accidentally installs
a file which ends with a colon doesn't get any error message at all.
It is extremely hard to locate the bug.  


Reinhard Kotucha			             Phone: +49-511-27060390
Marschnerstr. 25
D-30167 Hannover	                      mailto:reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Microsoft isn't the answer. Microsoft is the question, and the answer is NO.

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