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#26 2012-07-25 14:19:07

Inxsible
Forum Fellow
From: Chicago
Registered: 2008-06-09
Posts: 9,079

Re: What's with all the --force-ing?

As a community, stop helping people who have used --force without explicitly being informed by the devs wink


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There's no such thing as a stupid question, but there sure are a lot of inquisitive idiots !

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#27 2012-07-25 14:35:04

Wilco
Member
Registered: 2008-11-09
Posts: 434

Re: What's with all the --force-ing?

--force is a necessary evil to overcome limitations with pacman. Pacman cannot reclaim ownership of files or directories, for example with the recent filesystem update, and at that point --force is needed. Another example is if you want to upgrade from open source ati drivers to the binary driver you have to disable dependency tracking to overcome problems with libgl. I've used force and nodeps options pretty often and I've always manage to boot, sometimes after a little help from a boot disk. But using force always feels like I'm doing something that pacman should do.

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#28 2012-07-25 16:05:23

x33a
Forum Moderator
Registered: 2009-08-15
Posts: 3,533
Website

Re: What's with all the --force-ing?

Inxsible wrote:

As a community, stop helping people who have used --force without explicitly being informed by the devs wink

Seriously, that should be the way. I have never used --force unless i saw an arch news item advising me to do so.

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#29 2012-07-25 17:26:05

Pres
Member
Registered: 2011-09-12
Posts: 423

Re: What's with all the --force-ing?

Wilco wrote:

--force is a necessary evil to overcome limitations with pacman. Pacman cannot reclaim ownership of files or directories, for example with the recent filesystem update, and at that point --force is needed. Another example is if you want to upgrade from open source ati drivers to the binary driver you have to disable dependency tracking to overcome problems with libgl. I've used force and nodeps options pretty often and I've always manage to boot, sometimes after a little help from a boot disk. But using force always feels like I'm doing something that pacman should do.

Where in the process of switching from the radeon driver to the catalyst driver do you need to use --force or --nodeps? I've done this several times and never had to use either.

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#30 2012-07-25 19:00:35

Iranon
Member
Registered: 2011-06-11
Posts: 146

Re: What's with all the --force-ing?

Even though people really shouldn't use --force often enough to make the lack of -f annoying, this does feel like nannying.
I strongly dislike the practice of making "not recommended" things unnecessarily difficult. It's a disease in plenty of other OSes, one thing I like about Arch Linux is that it lets me ruin my life without undue fuss.

But yes, people should only use it if they know what they're doing or as a last resort when they're willing to bork their system - "if this doesn't work, I'm reinstalling Windows Me"

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#31 2012-07-25 20:48:51

bernarcher
Forum Fellow
From: Germany
Registered: 2009-02-17
Posts: 2,273

Re: What's with all the --force-ing?

There is almost no way to prevent someone from unduely using --force. If it is there they will try, "just to get something done". No matter how complicated or dumb the option is named.

I rather early made it a habit to never use --force, be it pacman or another application unless I was explicitely told to do so in some special case. Most often a workaround of some malfunction can be found elsewhere.

Another way to prohibit inadvertent or silly --force uses in many cases would probably the use of two separately named applications. One the usual pacman without the --force option. The other some not-so-obvious named pacman version which forces some individual install (but probably never global ones).

Not perfect but more idiot-resistant than a commonly available --force option.


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#32 2012-07-25 21:02:15

Iranon
Member
Registered: 2011-06-11
Posts: 146

Re: What's with all the --force-ing?

Why should anyone prevent a silly --force though? It's likely to either work or teach a valuable lesson.
Idiot resistance just ensures that idiots remain idiots.

Having two different pacman variants, one with safeguards and one without, both with obvious functionality artificially locked away, sounds horrible. A word of warning in the documentation should be enough.

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#33 2012-07-25 21:22:44

Trilby
Forum Moderator
From: Massachusetts, USA
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 14,758
Website

Re: What's with all the --force-ing?

I propose a new project, in addition to pacman, we should have an alternate tool for such people: pacchild, complete with safety locks, helmets, and floaties.  When they grow up they can start using pacman.


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#34 2012-07-25 21:26:06

ewaller
Administrator
From: Pasadena, CA
Registered: 2009-07-13
Posts: 13,800

Re: What's with all the --force-ing?

Trilby wrote:

I propose a new project, in addition to pacman, we should have an alternate tool for such people: pacchild, complete with safety locks, helmets, and floaties.  When they grow up they can start using pacman.

Is everyone from Massachusetts a liberal ?? . yikes   
(Just kidding, I'll crawl back under my bridge now)


Nothing is too wonderful to be true, if it be consistent with the laws of nature -- Michael Faraday
You assume people are rational and influenced by evidence.  You must not work with the public much. -- Trilby
----
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#35 2012-07-25 21:32:05

Trilby
Forum Moderator
From: Massachusetts, USA
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 14,758
Website

Re: What's with all the --force-ing?

I'm in a university in Massachusetts ... it's not blue here, it's ultra-violet.

But my sentence here is temporary and nearly over.  I look forward to returning to the midwest, or perhaps heading south.  But never to California ... to many crackpots there. wink


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#36 2012-07-26 00:09:46

cfr
Member
From: Cymru
Registered: 2011-11-27
Posts: 5,675

Re: What's with all the --force-ing?

May I buck the trend and express approval of removing -f from pacman?

I haven't done it, but I can easily imagine myself _accidentally_ adding an 'f' without intending it and entering the command before I realise. Much harder for mistyping to add --force...

If removing it also reduces the intentional use of force, that is an added bonus - if you prefer a quieter forum or an easier transition - or unfortunate - if you prefer to weed more stringently. If it doesn't reduce it, it is irrelevant.

But maybe I'm just mean-spirited... sad

Last edited by cfr (2012-07-26 00:10:02)


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#37 2012-07-26 01:02:06

mhertz
Member
From: Denmark
Registered: 2010-06-19
Posts: 664

Re: What's with all the --force-ing?

I like the -f switch! Granted I rarely use it, but when I know for a fact that the pacman warning is simply about a file to be overwritten or something, then instead of going and first remove that file, then it's nice to instead just run '!! -f'.

This is imho the way that feature is intended to work and be used, and yes, of course it's easier to just say to all noobs that they should never use -f, but that dosen't count for the rest of us...

It's like dd. A wonderfull tool if you know how to use it, but fatal in the wrong hands...

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#38 2012-07-26 01:37:47

ngoonee
Forum Fellow
From: Between Thailand and Singapore
Registered: 2009-03-17
Posts: 6,888

Re: What's with all the --force-ing?

cfr wrote:

I haven't done it, but I can easily imagine myself _accidentally_ adding an 'f' without intending it and entering the command before I realise. Much harder for mistyping to add --force...:(

You know, if you 'accidentally' ANYTHING when using sudo/pacman/dd, you really should be paying more attention smile


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jasonwryan-Installing Arch is a measure of your literacy. Maintaining Arch is a measure of your diligence. Contributing to Arch is a measure of your competence.
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#39 2012-07-26 02:44:35

Bellum
Member
Registered: 2011-08-24
Posts: 230

Re: What's with all the --force-ing?

ngoonee wrote:
cfr wrote:

I haven't done it, but I can easily imagine myself _accidentally_ adding an 'f' without intending it and entering the command before I realise. Much harder for mistyping to add --force...:(

You know, if you 'accidentally' ANYTHING when using sudo/pacman/dd, you really should be paying more attention smile

I did this in my home directory yesterday. :'(

rm -rf some-common-string *

So sad. smile

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#40 2012-07-26 03:11:16

ngoonee
Forum Fellow
From: Between Thailand and Singapore
Registered: 2009-03-17
Posts: 6,888

Re: What's with all the --force-ing?

Which isn't a problem since you do have backups, of course smile


Allan-Volunteer on the (topic being discussed) mailn lists. You never get the people who matters attention on the forums.
jasonwryan-Installing Arch is a measure of your literacy. Maintaining Arch is a measure of your diligence. Contributing to Arch is a measure of your competence.
Griemak-Bleeding edge, not bleeding flat. Edge denotes falls will occur from time to time. Bring your own parachute.

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#41 2012-07-26 17:28:21

Wilco
Member
Registered: 2008-11-09
Posts: 434

Re: What's with all the --force-ing?

Bellum wrote:
ngoonee wrote:
cfr wrote:

I haven't done it, but I can easily imagine myself _accidentally_ adding an 'f' without intending it and entering the command before I realise. Much harder for mistyping to add --force...:(

You know, if you 'accidentally' ANYTHING when using sudo/pacman/dd, you really should be paying more attention smile

I did this in my home directory yesterday. :'(

rm -rf some-common-string *

So sad. smile

Yeah if you want idiot proof protection you should use ubuntu or windows... seriously, the main two reasons I prefer arch over lfs is because I don't have to compile everything from scratch and I'm not bothered by dozens of "protections" bothering me in my daily job.

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#42 2012-07-26 19:57:18

Bellum
Member
Registered: 2011-08-24
Posts: 230

Re: What's with all the --force-ing?

You know I don't think using either Ubuntu or Windows will prevent you from rming your system. tongue

[zen]A tool that is idiot-proof is a tool without purpose.[/zen]

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#43 2012-07-26 20:13:28

STUART
Member
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: 2010-08-19
Posts: 38
Website

Re: What's with all the --force-ing?

I think the number of people using --force for the glibc update can be explained by that being how the news posts said to fix the other two stop-error updates introduced since 2011.8.19. From a fresh core install "--force, --force, --force" is more expected than "--force, --force, WHATEVER YOU DO DON'T USE --force".

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#44 2012-07-26 20:18:30

karol
Archivist
Registered: 2009-05-06
Posts: 25,433

Re: What's with all the --force-ing?

People should follow instructions and not make assumptions.

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#45 2012-07-26 20:24:28

loafer
Member
From: the pub
Registered: 2009-04-14
Posts: 1,733

Re: What's with all the --force-ing?

People are people.  We do silly things.  Someone, somewhere will fail to read or will read and  misinterpret the instructions.  I'm surprised there aren't more.


All men have stood for freedom...
For freedom is the man that will turn the world upside down.
Gerrard Winstanley.

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#46 2012-07-26 20:28:22

karol
Archivist
Registered: 2009-05-06
Posts: 25,433

Re: What's with all the --force-ing?

loafer wrote:

I'm surprised there aren't more.

Some of them probably read one of the already-existing threads on how to deal with glibc forcing aftermath.

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#47 2012-07-26 21:00:08

cfr
Member
From: Cymru
Registered: 2011-11-27
Posts: 5,675

Re: What's with all the --force-ing?

ngoonee wrote:
cfr wrote:

I haven't done it, but I can easily imagine myself _accidentally_ adding an 'f' without intending it and entering the command before I realise. Much harder for mistyping to add --force...:(

You know, if you 'accidentally' ANYTHING when using sudo/pacman/dd, you really should be paying more attention smile

Of course. But I don't always do as I should and I sometimes do not only as I shouldn't but as I did not intend. It is just that for me personally, the inconvenience of having to type 5 additional characters on the very rare occasions when it is appropriate to force pacman is outweighed by the obstacle which those 5 characters present to my doing something seriously stupid by mistake.

If --force was a commonly needed option, things would be rather different but that's not the case so the additional convenience of -f doesn't outweigh the increased risk for me personally. It isn't such a big deal to type another 5 characters - how often? a few times a year?

Note that for other commands, there are protections you can put in place if you want them. You can limit the destructive potential of rm, mv, cp etc. I do this. Of course, it is a balance of convenience vs. protection against accident and/or stupidity. How this balance should be struck is partly a matter of personal preferences. For me, it also differs by account so my configuration is different for different accounts on the same machine.

One thing I don't like about sudo is that I can't figure out a good way to customise this stuff in the way that I can for the root account (as opposed to my personal account and the various other accounts I use to manage different things on this machine). [I'm not generally a fan of sudo - not as it is generally used on modern desktops, anyway.]


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#48 2012-07-26 21:04:34

karol
Archivist
Registered: 2009-05-06
Posts: 25,433

Re: What's with all the --force-ing?

Adding 'f' to your pacman command is not enough, you need to at least press Enter to proceed:

$ pacman -Sf abiword
resolving dependencies...
looking for inter-conflicts...

Targets (17):

Name                   Old Version  New Version  Net Change  Download Size

<a bunch of dependencies>

Total Download Size:    23,46 MiB
Total Installed Size:   148,76 MiB

Proceed with installation? [Y/n] 

Last edited by karol (2012-07-26 21:04:48)

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#49 2012-07-26 21:21:38

Zancarius
Member
From: NM, USA
Registered: 2012-05-06
Posts: 207

Re: What's with all the --force-ing?

karol wrote:

People should follow instructions and not make assumptions.

I can't help but wonder if at least some of the forcing is a mixture of ignorance in addition to such assumptions (specifically that of "I've used ${distro} so I think I know what --force does!). For instance, I wonder how many of them have tried updating in the past and for whatever reason make the assumption that an update won't work unless it is forced. Considering the number of threads in which the poster states they made a habit of using force, I can only guess that there has to be some common motif (in addition to the obvious).

I suppose no one reads man pages anymore even though it's a good habit to get into. If only there were a way to convince people to read the applicable man page whenever they were about to use an option they weren't familiar with...

Also, I suspect that --force will only work for so long. Someone, somewhere, will eventually start making a habit out of using it, too.


He who has no .plan has small finger.
~Confucius on UNIX.

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#50 2012-07-26 21:25:31

cfr
Member
From: Cymru
Registered: 2011-11-27
Posts: 5,675

Re: What's with all the --force-ing?

@karol,

That's true, but it doesn't throw the option back at you. Especially if there's a lot of output or on a small screen, the 'f' may not be visible at that point.

Anyway, I was only expressing a personal preference for a particular balance of convenience vs. safeguards. My main point was just that with 'f' it seems perfectly possible to be somebody who knows very well that forcing is (generally) a Very Bad Idea, doesn't intend to force and yet does it because your fingers slip on the keyboard and you don't notice. That's much less likely with --force. Should you be paying attention and double-check anyway? Of course. Do I think that I will always do this? No. Probably not. I can't speak for others but I am perfectly capable of paying insufficient attention and doing something unintentionally which I would never have considered doing deliberately. So being well-informed/sensible about using the force option is not always sufficient for doing the right thing.

I tend to think that non-idiots can not only deliberately do idiotic things but, even more easily, can mistakenly do them by accident. I may, however, be illegitimately extrapolating from a single case of what is in fact idiocy.

Last edited by cfr (2012-07-26 21:26:53)


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