[ANNOUNCEMENT] Updated: dash-0.5.9.1-1

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[ANNOUNCEMENT] Updated: dash-0.5.9.1-1

Eric Blake (cygwin)-2
A new release of dash, 0.5.9.1-1, has been uploaded and will soon reach
a mirror near you; replacing 0.5.8-3 as current.

NEWS:
=====
This is a new upstream release.

For now, there are no immediate plans of replacing /bin/sh
with dash, but the possibility remains for the future.

See also the upstream documentation in /usr/share/doc/dash/.

DESCRIPTION:
============
DASH is a POSIX-compliant implementation of /bin/sh that aims to be as
small as possible. It does this without sacrificing speed where
possible. In fact, it is significantly faster than bash (the GNU
Bourne-Again SHell) for most tasks.

UPDATE:
=======
To update your installation, click on the "Install Cygwin now" link on
the http://cygwin.com/ web page.  This downloads setup.exe to your
system. Save it and run setup, answer the questions and pick up
'diffutils' in the 'Base' or 'Shells' category (it should already be
automatically selected).  Be sure that you do not have any cygwin
programs running during the upgrade.

DOWNLOAD:
=========
Note that downloads from cygwin.com aren't allowed due to bandwidth
limitations.  This means that you will need to find a mirror which has
this update, please choose the one nearest to you:
http://cygwin.com/mirrors.html

QUESTIONS:
==========
If you want to make a point or ask a question the Cygwin mailing list is
the appropriate place.

--
Eric Blake
volunteer cygwin dash package maintainer

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Re: [ANNOUNCEMENT] Updated: dash-0.5.9.1-1

Steven Penny
On Fri, 17 Feb 2017 07:50:34, "Eric Blake (cygwin)" wrote:
> For now, there are no immediate plans of replacing /bin/sh
> with dash, but the possibility remains for the future.

I am a fan of this. Debian does this already, and it would dramatically speed up
shell scripts:

    $ cat alfa.sh
    x=400000
    until [ "$((x -= 1))" = 0 ]
    do :
    done

    $ time bash alfa.sh
    real    0m5.735s

    $ time dash alfa.sh
    real    0m1.112s

Dash can handle large scripts; I am already using it with one (545 SLOC):

http://github.com/svnpenn/sage/blob/master/sage


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Re: [ANNOUNCEMENT] Updated: dash-0.5.9.1-1

Andrey Repin
Greetings, Steven Penny!

> On Fri, 17 Feb 2017 07:50:34, "Eric Blake (cygwin)" wrote:
>> For now, there are no immediate plans of replacing /bin/sh
>> with dash, but the possibility remains for the future.

> I am a fan of this.

$ cat /etc/postinstall/zp_dash-as-bin-sh.dash
#!/bin/dash

test ! -h /bin/sh.exe && {
  _f="$(mktemp /bin/sh.XXXXXX)"
  {
    mv /bin/sh.exe "$_f"
    ln -s /bin/dash.exe /bin/sh.exe
  } || mv "$_f" /bin/sh.exe
  rm "$_f"
}
exit 0


> Debian does this already, and it would dramatically speed up
> shell scripts:

>     $ cat alfa.sh
>     x=400000
>     until [ "$((x -= 1))" = 0 ]
>     do :
>     done

>     $ time bash alfa.sh
>     real    0m5.735s

>     $ time dash alfa.sh
>     real    0m1.112s

> Dash can handle large scripts; I am already using it with one (545 SLOC):

> http://github.com/svnpenn/sage/blob/master/sage


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With best regards,
Andrey Repin
Thursday, February 23, 2017 20:36:35

Sorry for my terrible english...


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Re: [ANNOUNCEMENT] Updated: dash-0.5.9.1-1

Steven Penny
On Thu, 23 Feb 2017 20:38:08, Andrey Repin wrote:
> $ cat /etc/postinstall/zp_dash-as-bin-sh.dash
> #!/bin/dash

> test ! -h /bin/sh.exe && {
>   _f="$(mktemp /bin/sh.XXXXXX)"
>   {
>     mv /bin/sh.exe "$_f"
>     ln -s /bin/dash.exe /bin/sh.exe
>   } || mv "$_f" /bin/sh.exe
>   rm "$_f"
> }
> exit 0

This is a bad idea.

If script succeeds, then yes sh is now a symlink to Dash, but only for my
system. I still have to use #!/bin/dash with my scripts, because otherwise
people with Bash -> sh will not get the speed boost. The whole point of this
thread is that it should be changed for everyone.


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Re: [ANNOUNCEMENT] Updated: dash-0.5.9.1-1

Brian Inglis
On 2017-02-23 12:46, Steven Penny wrote:

> On Thu, 23 Feb 2017 20:38:08, Andrey Repin wrote:
>> $ cat /etc/postinstall/zp_dash-as-bin-sh.dash
>> #!/bin/dash
>
>> test ! -h /bin/sh.exe && {
>>   _f="$(mktemp /bin/sh.XXXXXX)"
>>   {
>>     mv /bin/sh.exe "$_f"
>>     ln -s /bin/dash.exe /bin/sh.exe
>>   } || mv "$_f" /bin/sh.exe
>>   rm "$_f"
>> }
>> exit 0
>
> This is a bad idea.
>
> If script succeeds, then yes sh is now a symlink to Dash, but only
> for my system. I still have to use #!/bin/dash with my scripts,
> because otherwise people with Bash -> sh will not get the speed
> boost. The whole point of this thread is that it should be changed
> for everyone.

And should be done using update_alternatives so it and associated
man pages can easily be changed if anyone suffers breakage.
Some people may continue to need or prefer using bash in POSIX mode.

--
Take care. Thanks, Brian Inglis, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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Re: [ANNOUNCEMENT] Updated: dash-0.5.9.1-1

Eric Blake (cygwin)-2
On 02/23/2017 01:59 PM, Brian Inglis wrote:
>> If script succeeds, then yes sh is now a symlink to Dash, but only
>> for my system. I still have to use #!/bin/dash with my scripts,
>> because otherwise people with Bash -> sh will not get the speed
>> boost. The whole point of this thread is that it should be changed
>> for everyone.
>
> And should be done using update_alternatives so it and associated
> man pages can easily be changed if anyone suffers breakage.
> Some people may continue to need or prefer using bash in POSIX mode.

Or more likely, many people likely have pre-existing scripts wrongly
written as #!/bin/sh but which use bash-ism rather than portable
POSIX-specified shell (if it is portable, then bash vs. dash executing
the script shouldn't matter - but as Debian found out when they switched
to dash, there are a lot of non-portable scripts).  On the other hand,
Debian has already fixed much of the pre-packaged badness out there and
pushed fixes upstream where feasible, so these days it's not as hairy to
switch as when Debian first did it.

But part of me is still reluctant to make the switch as long as Fedora
still favors bash over dash.

One problem with using update_alternatives: the alternatives system
relies on symlinks, but Windows is not so smart about executing through
symlinks; are there people that will have a broken setup if /bin/sh is a
symlink rather than an actual executable (hard links are fine, but
symlinks is where I worry).

--
Eric Blake   eblake redhat com    +1-919-301-3266
Libvirt virtualization library http://libvirt.org


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Re: [ANNOUNCEMENT] Updated: dash-0.5.9.1-1

Andrey Repin
In reply to this post by Steven Penny
Greetings, Steven Penny!

> On Thu, 23 Feb 2017 20:38:08, Andrey Repin wrote:
>> $ cat /etc/postinstall/zp_dash-as-bin-sh.dash
>> #!/bin/dash

>> test ! -h /bin/sh.exe && {
>>   _f="$(mktemp /bin/sh.XXXXXX)"
>>   {
>>     mv /bin/sh.exe "$_f"
>>     ln -s /bin/dash.exe /bin/sh.exe
>>   } || mv "$_f" /bin/sh.exe
>>   rm "$_f"
>> }
>> exit 0

> This is a bad idea.

This is only bad idea for people assuming too much.

> If script succeeds, then yes sh is now a symlink to Dash, but only for my
> system. I still have to use #!/bin/dash with my scripts,

In fact, you should use specific shell name, if you want specific behavior.

> because otherwise
> people with Bash -> sh will not get the speed boost. The whole point of this
> thread is that it should be changed for everyone.

The big question remains, where this speed boost coming from?
Is this a startup time? Or some internal slowness?
Because in latter case, given your STC, this is a bash issue and should be
reported upstream.


--
With best regards,
Andrey Repin
Friday, February 24, 2017 00:47:31

Sorry for my terrible english...


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Re: [ANNOUNCEMENT] Updated: dash-0.5.9.1-1

Tony Kelman-2
> The big question remains, where this speed boost coming from?
> Is this a startup time? Or some internal slowness?
> Because in latter case, given your STC, this is a bash issue and should be
> reported upstream.

Dunno what you meant by STC, but upstream is well aware:

$ man bash | tail -n 21 | head -n 2
BUGS
       It's too big and too slow.

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Re: [ANNOUNCEMENT] Updated: dash-0.5.9.1-1

Eliot Moss
On 2/23/2017 6:01 PM, Tony Kelman wrote:
>> The big question remains, where this speed boost coming from?
>> Is this a startup time? Or some internal slowness?
>> Because in latter case, given your STC, this is a bash issue and should be
>> reported upstream.
>
> Dunno what you meant by STC,

Indeed, this gives around 20 possibilities, none of which seem to fit:

http://www.acronymfinder.com/Slang/STC.html

Cheers!  Eliot Moss

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Re: [ANNOUNCEMENT] Updated: dash-0.5.9.1-1

Kenneth Wolcott-2
On Thu, Feb 23, 2017 at 3:04 PM, Eliot Moss <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 2/23/2017 6:01 PM, Tony Kelman wrote:
>>>
>>> The big question remains, where this speed boost coming from?
>>> Is this a startup time? Or some internal slowness?
>>> Because in latter case, given your STC, this is a bash issue and should
>>> be
>>> reported upstream.
>>
>>
>> Dunno what you meant by STC,
>
>
> Indeed, this gives around 20 possibilities, none of which seem to fit:
>
> http://www.acronymfinder.com/Slang/STC.html
>
> Cheers!  Eliot Moss

Small Test Case.

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Re: [ANNOUNCEMENT] Updated: dash-0.5.9.1-1

Andrey Repin
In reply to this post by Tony Kelman-2
Greetings, Tony Kelman!

>> The big question remains, where this speed boost coming from?
>> Is this a startup time? Or some internal slowness?
>> Because in latter case, given your STC, this is a bash issue and should be
>> reported upstream.

> Dunno what you meant by STC,

https://cygwin.com/acronyms/#STC

> but upstream is well aware:

> $ man bash | tail -n 21 | head -n 2
> BUGS
>        It's too big and too slow.

That's not answering my question.


--
With best regards,
Andrey Repin
Friday, February 24, 2017 02:18:52

Sorry for my terrible english...


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Re: [ANNOUNCEMENT] Updated: dash-0.5.9.1-1

Vince Rice
In reply to this post by Eliot Moss
> On Feb 23, 2017, at 5:04 PM, Eliot Moss <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> On 2/23/2017 6:01 PM, Tony Kelman wrote:
>>> The big question remains, where this speed boost coming from?
>>> Is this a startup time? Or some internal slowness?
>>> Because in latter case, given your STC, this is a bash issue and should be
>>> reported upstream.
>>
>> Dunno what you meant by STC,
>
> Indeed, this gives around 20 possibilities, none of which seem to fit:
>
> http://www.acronymfinder.com/Slang/STC.html

If it's used here, then the first place to look is on the Cygwin acronym page.

https://cygwin.com/acronyms/#STC
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Re: [ANNOUNCEMENT] Updated: dash-0.5.9.1-1

Steven Penny
In reply to this post by Andrey Repin
On Fri, 24 Feb 2017 00:50:08, Andrey Repin wrote:
> In fact, you should use specific shell name, if you want specific behavior.

That is not at issue here. Both before and after this proposed change, I can use
#!/bin/dash to explicitly call Dash and #!/bin/bash to explicitly call Bash.
What _is_ at issue here is what is called with #!/bin/sh for _all_ users, not
just myself or those whom have run your homebrewed script.

In that regard, since we are giving deference to Debian by using their shell, I
say we continue that pattern and use Dash as /bin/sh.

> The big question remains, where this speed boost coming from?
> Is this a startup time? Or some internal slowness?
> Because in latter case, given your STC, this is a bash issue and should be
> reported upstream.

Dash is faster than Bash. This is not a question, it is a fact. It is not a
_bug_ any more than a Ducati being faster than an 18-wheeler is a bug. Dash by
design has less features than Bash _so_ that it can be faster than Dash. It
would suit you well to do some research of your own on this topic before posting
further.

Cheers


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Re: [ANNOUNCEMENT] Updated: dash-0.5.9.1-1

Steven Penny
In reply to this post by Brian Inglis
On Thu, 23 Feb 2017 12:59:27, Brian Inglis wrote:
> Some people may continue to need or prefer using bash in POSIX mode.

You might know this already, but "Bash in POSIX mode" is not quite POSIX. For
example, arrays are not defined by POSIX:

http://mywiki.wooledge.org/Bashism#Arrays

Yes Bash even in POSIX mode handles them:

    $ bash --posix -c 'z=(2 3 4); echo ${z[2]}'
    4

Dash rightfully does not handle them:

    $ dash -c 'z=(2 3 4); echo ${z[2]}'
    dash: 1: Syntax error: "(" unexpected


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Re: [ANNOUNCEMENT] Updated: dash-0.5.9.1-1

Larry Hall (Cygwin)
In reply to this post by Tony Kelman-2
On 02/23/2017 06:01 PM, Tony Kelman wrote:

>> The big question remains, where this speed boost coming from?
>> Is this a startup time? Or some internal slowness?
>> Because in latter case, given your STC, this is a bash issue and should be
>> reported upstream.
>
> Dunno what you meant by STC, but upstream is well aware:
>
> $ man bash | tail -n 21 | head -n 2
> BUGS
>         It's too big and too slow.

Forgive me but this entire thread has been giving me a serious case of
deja-vu.  We've been down a similar path to this before, the last time
around with "ash" rather than "dash" but the arguments sound very familiar.
Brian Dessent has a nice summary a paragraph into his response below:

https://sourceware.org/ml/cygwin/2008-03/msg00369.html

Now this was "ash" and not "dash" and the actual transition from "bash" to
"ash" and back again occurred well over 10 years ago, so allot of things
have changed for sure.  But I bring this up because I think the parallels
are there.  Since making a change of this magnitude is going to be an
undertaking, we should be sure we're going to see the intended benefits
before enduring the pain such a change would bring, though hopefully that
pain would be short-lived and/or minor. :-)

--
Larry

_____________________________________________________________________

A: Yes.
 > Q: Are you sure?
 >> A: Because it reverses the logical flow of conversation.
 >>> Q: Why is top posting annoying in email?

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Re: [ANNOUNCEMENT] Updated: dash-0.5.9.1-1

Larry Hall (Cygwin)
In reply to this post by Tony Kelman-2
On 02/23/2017 06:01 PM, Tony Kelman wrote:

>> The big question remains, where this speed boost coming from?
>> Is this a startup time? Or some internal slowness?
>> Because in latter case, given your STC, this is a bash issue and should be
>> reported upstream.
>
> Dunno what you meant by STC, but upstream is well aware:
>
> $ man bash | tail -n 21 | head -n 2
> BUGS
>         It's too big and too slow.

Forgive me but this entire thread has been giving me a serious case of
deja-vu.  We've been down a similar path to this before, the last time
around with "ash" rather than "dash" but the arguments sound very familiar.
Brian Dessent has a nice summary a paragraph into his response below:

https://sourceware.org/ml/cygwin/2008-03/msg00369.html

Now this was "ash" and not "dash" and the actual transition from "bash" to
"ash" and back again occurred well over 10 years ago, so allot of things
have changed for sure.  But I bring this up because I think the parallels
are there.  Since making a change of this magnitude is going to be an
undertaking, we should be sure we're going to see the intended benefits
before enduring the pain such a change would bring, though hopefully that
pain would be short-lived and/or minor. :-)

--
Larry

_____________________________________________________________________

A: Yes.
 > Q: Are you sure?
 >> A: Because it reverses the logical flow of conversation.
 >>> Q: Why is top posting annoying in email?

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Re: [ANNOUNCEMENT] Updated: dash-0.5.9.1-1

Steven Penny
On Thu, 23 Feb 2017 22:15:37, "Larry Hall (Cygwin)" wrote:
> Since making a change of this magnitude is going to be an undertaking, we
> should be sure we're going to see the intended benefits before enduring the
> pain such a change would bring, though hopefully that pain would be
> short-lived and/or minor. :-)

I am open to others debunking my previous test with other/better tests, but from
where I sit the benefit can be clearly seen. Not just with script times, but
startup time will see a 2-3 fold increase as well. This can be hugely helpful
with situations like using Autotools (configure), where "sh" is spawned hundreds
of times.

I have done heavy testing "living" with Dash. Between my repos I have over 80
Dash scripts, with usage going back to 2015:

http://github.com/svnpenn/a/commit/b4908b7

I think Eric said it well:

On Thu, 23 Feb 2017 14:41:52, Eric Blake wrote:
> Or more likely, many people likely have pre-existing scripts wrongly
> written as #!/bin/sh but which use bash-ism rather than portable
> POSIX-specified shell

However, I think it is worth the trouble.


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Re: [ANNOUNCEMENT] Updated: dash-0.5.9.1-1

Yaakov Selkowitz
In reply to this post by Eric Blake (cygwin)-2
On 2017-02-23 14:41, Eric Blake wrote:

> Or more likely, many people likely have pre-existing scripts wrongly
> written as #!/bin/sh but which use bash-ism rather than portable
> POSIX-specified shell (if it is portable, then bash vs. dash executing
> the script shouldn't matter - but as Debian found out when they switched
> to dash, there are a lot of non-portable scripts).  On the other hand,
> Debian has already fixed much of the pre-packaged badness out there and
> pushed fixes upstream where feasible, so these days it's not as hairy to
> switch as when Debian first did it.
>
> But part of me is still reluctant to make the switch as long as Fedora
> still favors bash over dash.

I concur; we simply don't have the manpower to handle this ourselves.

--
Yaakov

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Re: [ANNOUNCEMENT] Updated: dash-0.5.9.1-1

Eric Blake (cygwin)-2
In reply to this post by Steven Penny
On 02/23/2017 05:44 PM, Steven Penny wrote:
> On Thu, 23 Feb 2017 12:59:27, Brian Inglis wrote:
>> Some people may continue to need or prefer using bash in POSIX mode.
>
> You might know this already, but "Bash in POSIX mode" is not quite
> POSIX. For
> example, arrays are not defined by POSIX:

You may not know this, but POSIX doesn't forbid extensions. Bash in
POSIX mode does NOT cripple all extensions, merely those that are
incompatible with POSIX.  That's why so many people end up writing
#!/bin/sh scripts with bashisms, then get surprised when they break on a
different shell.

If you want a STRICT shell, Debian's posh is even better than dash at
ferreting out use of non-portable extensions.

--
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Libvirt virtualization library http://libvirt.org


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Re: [ANNOUNCEMENT] Updated: dash-0.5.9.1-1

Eric Blake (cygwin)-2
In reply to this post by Steven Penny
On 02/23/2017 10:57 PM, Steven Penny wrote:
>> Or more likely, many people likely have pre-existing scripts wrongly
>> written as #!/bin/sh but which use bash-ism rather than portable
>> POSIX-specified shell
>
> However, I think it is worth the trouble.

If you'd like, I can post experimental versions of both bash and dash,
which MUST be upgraded (or downgraded) in lockstep, where I move /bin/sh
over to the dash package (do it wrong, and you could be left with no
/bin/sh at all, which is not a good idea - although maybe I can use some
postinstall scripts so that at least the upgrade side tries to play nice
even when someone only does a partial upgrade).  If people will then
test with those experimental versions installed, and report breakage, we
could get a feel for how many scripts installed by default are broken.

But we are severely limited in volunteer manpower compared to Debian,
and I suspect that 1) there won't be enough testers (we won't know the
real impact until it is no longer experimental, but that is too late),
and 2) even if testers are diligent, we will be unable to patch all the
fallout in any sort of timely manner.

Are you really prepared to force the Cygwin community through that much
growing pain?

I agree that /bin/sh as dash is much faster at executing configure
scripts. But configure scripts aren't the only scripts in the wild. We
do have checkbashisms ported to Cygwin, and that can help, but it is not
a panacea.

--
Eric Blake   eblake redhat com    +1-919-301-3266
Libvirt virtualization library http://libvirt.org


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