grep is always recursive

Derek Broughton derek at
Wed Jan 28 03:19:51 UTC 2009

Matthew Flaschen wrote:

> Smoot Carl-Mitchell wrote:
>> On Tue, 2009-01-27 at 17:45 -0300, Lorenzo Luengo wrote:
>>> The problem comes from the bash * expansion that makes grep see that
>>> filename as an option. Is it a bash problem? Is it a grep problem??
>>> Don't know...
>>> Should it be reported to anyone?
>> The root of the problem is the getopt function in the C library which is
>> the standard way of doing option processing in C programs.
>> The glob shell expansion of '*' is correct.
> Given the way the shell does expansion, and the way arguments are passed
> to C programs, how would you design get opt to eliminate this problem?
> I don't think it's possible to "fix" this in getopt (which is not used
> by all C programs anyway)

You _could_ easily enough - you just say that the first non-option argument 
terminates reading of options (just like -- does).  I should think you could 
even drop a modified getopt onto your system that does that.

Of course, there'd be howls from the geeks who've been using this for 
decades.  In fact, I'm mostly aware that not every program uses getopt only 
because some $%^&*( programs insist I put the options before any other 
arguments!  I learned Unix when there was only one Unix, and I damn well put 
my options where I feel like it!

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