Talk:test (Unix)

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Old discussion[edit]

I'm not sure if the {{howto}} maintenance template applies here.. There's something wrong with this article.. but I don't know what it is. -- OlEnglish (Talk) 06:21, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

I know this isn't wikipedia style but holy god this article is useful! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:33, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

One more vote that this is a very useful page.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:04, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

Isn't this just copied from man test? (talk) 17:35, 25 December 2009 (UTC)

POSIX compliant options?[edit]

This article refers to the bash internal implementation of test, from what I can see. It's nice to include non-standard options but it would be even better to point out which ones are POSIXLY_CORRECT (and therefore work across many versions and operating systems) and which ones are specific to particular implementations.

For starters, there's no test for seguid in POSIX as far as I know. I don't think it's available on HPUX unless you load a GNU shell or similar. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:11, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

Of Course -> POSIX supports test -g. Schily (talk) 11:56, 19 May 2016 (UTC)


Not sure I agree with the poster who said: at 07:16, 27 June 2008 (this article requires an total rewrite) (AzaToth). However, I have made some edits for style and consistency. I'll remove the cleanup tag on the main page. I welcome any other feedback. I'd really like to replace the dashes with something else, but I'm not sure what would be better.

Maybe replace this:

 -z String1 - the length of the String1 variable is 0 (zero).

with this

 -z String1 = the length of the String1 variable is 0 (zero).

Unixguy (talk) 16:44, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Edit war warning[edit]

Just noting for the record that it is generally considered undesirable to fullt protect a page while it is nominated for deletion because that prevents improvement of the article. That leaves only one other option: blocking all edit warriors. Maybe, instead, you all would care to discuss it here? MOS edit wars are pretty lame, it would be a shame if multiple editors had to be blocked to stop one. Beeblebrox (talk) 21:28, 26 January 2016 (UTC)

Stubify this article?[edit]

I attempted to turn this article into a stub, per WP:NOTMANUAL and because that was a repeated concern at the deletion discussion Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Test (Unix), but user @Viam Ferream: reverted my edit with the message "rv - raise another AfD if you insist the first AfD gave the wrong answer".

Now, clearly the message is mistaken about AfD. AfD discussions are about deletion of the article itself, not what to do with the content (that's why it's called "articles for deletion"). To stubify, all that's needed is a local consensus, not an AfD.

So, to anyone watching: please voice your opinions whether the "manual content" should be stripped from this article. -- intgr [talk] 10:02, 1 February 2016 (UTC)

Blanking the majority of an article is not an improvement. What does "WP:stubify" even mean, in any positive manner? Are you claiming that this material is unsourced? OR? Biased? "I don't think it should be here but I lost at the AfD so I'm having it away anyway" isn't a valid reason.
If you want to work on the article, then improve it. It could use expansion of how conditional branching came to shell scripting, where it had been developed outside Unix (did Unix invent this or was it borrowed from mainframes?) It could use some discussion of whether this branching is a good thing or bad thing (is it doing it right? Do later shells find a better way?). Viam Ferream (talk) 10:12, 1 February 2016 (UTC)
"Are you claiming that this material is unsourced? OR? Biased?"
I'm claiming that this material is off-topic in Wikipedia per WP:NOTMANUAL. It's a long listing of command line switches and explanation about how to use it, without describing, what it is and what it's used for. I don't think the current content is a useful basis for developing a good encyclopedia article out of. I think the length of the manual sections may be deterring improvement, because it can look like a fully developed article already.
""I don't think it should be here but I lost at the AfD so I'm having it away anyway" isn't a valid reason"
You really need to adjust your tone. First of all, I voted to keep the article, so I didn't "lose" at AfD. And if you want to anything productive to come out of Wikipedia discussions, you need to give others some benefit of the doubt, without inflammatory statements like the one above. If you piss people off, they won't want to cooperate with you, making further discussion pointless (I've seen multiple instances of that in your recent discourses). If you haven't already, please see WP:CIVIL, WP:AGF.
Anyway, the proper way to resolve this is to get some more opinions. -- intgr [talk] 10:52, 1 February 2016 (UTC)
If you want people to be civil to you, earn some respect. Blanking an article right after an AfD is no way to get that. Why "assume" GF when you've just demonstrated quite the opposite. Viam Ferream (talk) 10:56, 1 February 2016 (UTC)
@Viam Ferream: Just to be clear: I didn't "blank" the article, I kept enough content so it remained a legitimate stub article.
I can see where you're coming from, I think you're confusing the two different kinds of deletion. Deletion of the article and deletion of content are different things on Wikipedia; article deletion is governed mostly by notability and there's sufficient source coverage that it passes the notability criteria. But notability does not apply to article content at all. Article content is governed by a different set of policies, called content policies, among which is WP:NOT (including WP:NOTHOWTO aka WP:NOTMANUAL).
I saw a consensus forming in the AfD discussion that the manual content is not approved of, both from people who voted to delete as well as keep:
  • Qwertyus (nominator) "WP:NOTMANUAL: article contains only how-to information and listings of program options"
  • SwisterTwister (voted delete) [no opinion on manual content]
  • Andy Dingley (voted keep) ""test", as a simple bit of bash syntax, is uninteresting and fails HOWTO"
  • NinjaRobotPirate (delete) "A simple how-to guide on a trivial command line utility
  • Schily (keep) "The article needs improvement" [unclear on manual content]
  • (keep) "The argument that it "Wikipedia is not a manual" is pedantic — simply because this article is improperly written now does not mean that it will always be improperly written"
  • HelpUsStopSpam (delete) "This is not an encyclopedia article, but a bad manual page"
  • Ekkt0r (keep) "there are no reasons to drop the article just because the other sections provide information that can be found in manual pages or tutorials". [neutral on manual question? keep/improve sections that look like a manual, unless there is concensus for dropping these sections. Ekkt0r]
  • StarryGrandma (keep) "There is enough material there and in other books to write a more complete article, leaving the man page information to External links"
  • intgr (keep) "The main reason why people vote "delete" here is because the article reads like a manual"
YMMV based on interpretation of the comments, but I count 7 out of 10 people involved in the deletion discussion who are negative towards the manual/howto content, and nobody defending it. I believe that constitutes a consensus supporting the removal of this content. I pointed to that discussion in both my edit summmary as well as on this page above.
Reverting my edit was an appropriate action if you disagreed with it (WP:BRD), but I hope you can see now that your allegations of bad faith are unfounded. -- intgr [talk] 13:04, 1 February 2016 (UTC)

@SwisterTwister, NinjaRobotPirate, Andy Dingley, Qwertyus, Schily, HelpUsStopSpam, and Ekkt0r: @StarryGrandma: @Viam Ferream: Pinging all voters at the recent AfD: should the "manual" content in the article be kept or stripped out of the article, per WP:NOTMANUAL? -- intgr [talk] 10:53, 1 February 2016 (UTC)

Well, I'd say that the manual stuff should be removed. I'd prefer to see a history of when it was first introduced, major milestones (such as being included in the POSIX standard), identifying the person most responsible for its initial conception, etc. That sort of stuff, like vi. That article has a nice, sourced history and no "how-to guide". NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 11:04, 1 February 2016 (UTC)
No, don't just remove stuff. The article needs improving. There is material in the references to improve the article. The editor who does that (and it can be you since the sources are there) can remove the manual material. There is already one man page in the external links. StarryGrandma (talk) 18:52, 1 February 2016 (UTC)
If you're going to quote other editors (and yes, I mean me) please do it carefully and not in such a way as to completely invert our comments at the AfD. 8-(
Your blanking today was excessive. We don't need all the command line options, we're not here to duplicate the manual, but we shouldn't limit how much we quote of the manual if it's there to support the encyclopedic coverage. Andy Dingley (talk) 23:45, 1 February 2016 (UTC)
@Andy Dingley: The point of the quotes was only to display that most people in AfD felt that there was too much manual-ish content in the article, not to suggest that people support my edits verbatim. And we're in agreement on this point: "we shouldn't limit how much we quote of the manual if it's there to support the encyclopedic coverage", I never meant to suggest otherwise. Quoting and citing manuals is appropriate, just the Wikipedia article itself shouldn't read like a manual.
How much of the article do you think is appropriate to keep? Looking back at the article, the section "Description" has encyclopedic value and I was in error to delete that. But the rest reads like a manual to me. Is there anything else that I removed that you consider "encyclopedic coverage"? -- intgr [talk] 11:00, 2 February 2016 (UTC)
Although the body of the article is based on knowledge available in manual pages, it is presented in a more novice-friendly way. Unlike most of us here, the average WP reader does not know how to invoke the man command, or thinks man pages are not easy to understand, or does not even have a Unix-like system and does not know that many websites have gateways to man pages. If the article did not include the "manual" sections yet, then adding links to online manual pages would have been sufficient. But these sections are there. Previous editors have contributed to what the article looks like. Discarding these sections would mean to these contributors that they have just lost their time. WP becomes less attractive (to editors) everytime some content gets removed without a widely shared concensus. This is not a problem for contents that are not appropriate. But for editors who might add valuable content we need to have solid rationales before we remove contents, otherwise WP will lose valuable editors. I'm not saying that WP should only grow. I'm saying that we need very good reasons to drop contents. Ekkt0r (talk) 15:33, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Well it's clear to me that there is no consensus here for the edits that I intended to make and I will refrain from removing content from the article.
However, I disagree with the notion that we need to keep inappropriate (non-encyclopedic) content simply because the editors who added that content may be offended by the removal. Yes, new editors who don't understand what Wikipedia is often spend their time and effort on doing wrong things. Having their edits undone is an unfortunate result of their bold edits and should be a learning experience.
As for "widely shared concensus": accepted Wikipedia policies, including WP:NOT, do represent a widely shared consensus among experienced editors. In fact, it represents a higher level of consensus than this local discussion. -- intgr [talk] 16:32, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
I'm not saying we should keep inappropriate content. I'm saying that if parts of an article look like a manual but are not a manual, then we need concensus about the fact that these parts are inappropriate before we can simply drop these parts. And I don't think that the body of this article is presented like a man page. But if there is concensus for removing these sections then I won't be against that. Ekkt0r (talk) 05:58, 5 February 2016 (UTC)