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Re: tcpd remarks warning
From: wietse () PORCUPINE ORG (Wietse Venema)
Date: Fri, 2 Apr 1999 20:22:11 -0500


Paul M. Cardon:
     +    A newline character is ignored when it is preceded by a
          backslash character. This permits you to break up long
          lines so that they are easier to edit.

     +    Blank lines or lines that begin with a `#' character
          are ignored.  This permits you to insert comments and
          whitespace so that the tables are easier to read.

If you make the assumption that the rules are applied as listed in the man
page then the observed behavior of line continuation processing occuring
prior to comment stripping matches the documentation.

I'm glad to see confirmed that the documentation actually matches
the program's behavior.

Why then the griping?

It seems to me that people have preconceptions about how software
works, and fail to pick up the signals in the documentation that
are in conflict with their preconceptions. For me, this is not just
a simple documentation problem.

Changing people's preconceptions is beyond my abilities.  However,
calling this a bug in the beholder's eye was not appropriate.

I can deal with this case of misreading just like I dealt with
misreading in the past, that is, by adding more redundancy to the
documentation.  I can deal with this case of misconfiguration just
like I dealt with misconfiguration in the past, that is, by adding
a warning for backslash-newline-hash.


        Wietse



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