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1.5.10: bug in /usr/sbin/strfile

I know that problems with strfile have been reported before, but looking through the list archive I haven't seen a clear statement of the problem nor any responses that deal with the problem.

The symptoms: If I run strfile on a file of quotes to generate a .dat file for the fortune program, I get strange behaviour from fortune for that quote file. I either get blank fortunes, or sometimes just the same quote again and again. I tried this with the latest stable release of Cygwin (1.5.10) but its been around for a long time.

I suspect that this is another example of an old problem with Unix programs ported to Windows. I mount my disks in text mode so that for text files (but not binary files) \n gets translated to DOS line-ends. This option tends to show up bugs in Unix programs where binary files are opened incorrectly in text mode. This is a common bug because on Unix there is no difference between text and binary modes.

So I tried adding a new mount point:

D:\cygwin\usr\share\fortune on /usr/share/fortune type system (binmode)

This makes just the fortune quote files' directory binary mode - i.e. no text file conversions.

Sure enough, strfile now creates .dat files that fortune likes.

Okay, having a special mount point is a bodge. It does however show that my suspicions are probably correct. I suspect that somewhere in strfile's source is an fopen with the mode "w" instead of "wb" when the .dat file is created. However, I don't know who's responsible for this program - so I thought I'd post my conclusions here. Is there anyone out there who knows how to get this fixed?


Andy Rushton, Southampton, UK

If all these sweet young things were laid end-to-end, I wouldn't be a
bit surprised.
		-- Dorothy Parker

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