dd dies on SIGUSR1

Eitan Adler lists at eitanadler.com
Wed Mar 23 21:42:23 UTC 2011

I fear this may be getting into bikeshed territory. However I'll put
out my two cents.

>> Assuming -USR[N] will get you -INFO does not mean the utilities you were
>> using were incorrect and needed to be changed. It means you need to change
>> your aspect of the portability of your syntax. Some systems go to far to
>> keep the end-user from shooting them self in the foot and this would be one
>> of those cases.

In my opinion mistakes should cause *no* action to be taken. This is
not analogous to alias rm="rm -i" but of rm -Q doing nothing.

> We are talking about a design decision taken decades ago, which quite
> possibly was a mistake.

Historical reasons are not be discounted, but in this case because the
behavior is already non-portable, and already not be relied upon, so
there is no reason that changing the default is harmful.

> Again, how many people rely on USR1 to terminate a process?

Hopefully none. Even if there are people who do rely on such behavior
that reliance could be said to be a mistake or otherwise broken.

>> If a program receives a signal it should do *something* if it has nothing to
>> do then it should *terminate*. The author of said software here gave it
>> nothing else to do, therefore it terminates...

If it has nothing to do, it should do *nothing* instead of something unexpected.

> Because of a poor design decision-- that we easily fix with no breakage.


Eitan Adler

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