access(FULLPATH, xxx);

Polytropon freebsd at
Sat Jan 14 08:28:23 UTC 2012

On Sat, 14 Jan 2012 02:00:12 -0600 (CST), Robert Bonomi wrote:
> To repeat some advice from one of my Computer Science professors, many years
> ago, whenever I asked 'how does it work' questions: "Try it and find out."

I bet my professor can beat up your professor. :-)

Mine used to say several times: "Trial and error is NOT
a programming concept!"

However, your suggestion of creating a simple test case,
together with consulting the documentation, is a fully
valid approach to discover what format path should be
in the int access(const char *path, int mode); function.
Luckily, we _have_ that kind of documentation in FreeBSD
where the answer is just "man 2 access" away. Other
operating systems (or excuses thereof) do not offer
this simple and still helpful thing.

> You see, the *ONLY* thing that matters is 'what the machine does'.  And,
> a trivial test case will give an _authoritative_ answer.   Anything that
> anybody says about 'how it works' is merely an *opinion*, and they could
> be wrong.  The test case will, however, ALWAYS give you the 'hard truth'
> about how it works in your environment.

Especially when interpreting the content of the manual
is debatable (as it is at least for me in this specific
case), a simple test would reveal the truth of what
will actually happen.

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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