svn commit: r212374 - head/usr.bin/printf

David O'Brien obrien at
Thu Sep 16 09:04:14 UTC 2010

On Thu, Sep 09, 2010 at 12:51:11PM -0700, Juli Mallett wrote:
> On Thu, Sep 9, 2010 at 12:27, David E. O'Brien <obrien at> wrote:
> > Author: obrien
> > Date: Thu Sep  9 19:27:40 2010
> > New Revision: 212374
> > URL:
> >
> > Log:
> >  Note bug in trying to printf(1) things like: '-%s\n' "foo"
> Should we also add something like this note to every manual page for a
> program that operates on files as command line arguments after options
> w.r.t. operating on files whose names begin with '-'?

No.  Because most programs have a synopsis like:

    ls [-ABCFGHILPRSTUWZabcdfghiklmnopqrstuwx1] [-D format] [file ...]

However, printf(1)'s is

 printf format [arguments ...]

Which does not say it takes ANY command-line options.  Thus why should
one expect to have to trick out any command-line arguments "--" as one
would with 'grep -- --i *.c'?

Is a sentence or two a burden to the man page vs. saving someone the time
I spent trying to figure out why printf(1) kept throwing up errors?

-- David  (obrien at

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