I hate to bitch but bitch I must

Michael Powell nightrecon at hotmail.com
Sun Oct 18 02:35:30 UTC 2009

PJ wrote:
> I think you're trying to take the meaning of "should" a little too
> far... to keep it simple, and without trying to intellectualize it, it
> simply means (and this can change within certain contexts) "normally, it
> should work" (in our context, here) but there is no implication of any
> warnings or dangers ... the "normally" is implied, the rest you can do
> with it as you wish, obviously at your rist... but even then the
> interpretation goes too far. As I suggested to Polytropon, in this
> particular case the instructions for the implementation of the procedure
> are very clear: use on an inactive system or SUM... so where's the
> bug... to suggest that it "should work" on an active system is confusing
> - if the author thought it important that it wouldl not work on an
> active system, perhaps he should have merely said "do not use on an
> active system"... that would be consistent and very clear. ;-)

Sorry, I'm not totally clear on everything either, but it is clearly 
contained within a section called 'BUGS'. This should set the context and 
will affect how the comment should be construed. If it were located anywhere 
else in the man page the context would be different, this altering the 
intended meaning or purpose.

Content within any 'BUGS' section should not be considered for normal usage 
of a command, unless it is something you think you can/should try and it is 
warning you not to do so. It is more of a disclosure of 'gotcha' potential, 
aka 'here be dragons' or other potential method by which an admin may shoot 
him/herself in the foot.

Just my meager $.02, fwiw 


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