tar deletes .exe files on extraction (again)

Andrew DeFaria Andrew.DeFaria@tellabs.com
Sat Sep 24 05:01:00 GMT 2011

On 9/23/2011 11:26 AM, Steve Atkins wrote:
> I'm talking about developers of applications, not cygwin-using end users. The developers could work around it (by not including .exe bootstrap files in cross-platform packages or being careful with naming), but they don't because it's not an issue that would ever occur to them, unlike case-insensitivity.
> Many systems are case-insensitive
Really? Aside from Windows what other systems are case insensitive?
>   - and, more importantly, at least one system that's commonly used by developers is - so most software is developed and packaged with that in mind. Case insensitivity is a well understood issue. Only one system, cygwin, considers foo and foo.exe to be identical.
And as far as I can tell, only one system Windows, is case insensitive 
WRT filenames. Coincidence? I don't think so! ;-)
>   It's a niche environment, and not used by many developers who target a unix-style environment, so most developers packaging software will not be aware of the issue and won't work around it.
I don't think I've met many developers who target a Unix-style 
environment who did not know about Cygwin and, if forced to use Windows, 
use Cygwin. Granted the foo vs. foo.exe thing is a bit obscure, but I'd 
say that a Unix developer actually naming something .exe is also pretty 
> Treating "foo" and "foo.exe" as equivalent is a very non-unixy thing to do
Neither is naming some thing with a .exe at the end!
> ("everything is a file, and the name of the file isn't important to the kernel") so it's particularly surprising behaviour on a system that otherwise looks quite like a unix environment.
> (I'd assumed that cygwin worked by intercepting execve(), and it hadn't even occurred to me that it would modify filesystem access at a coarser level than that until I started diagnosing apparent bugs in tar).
> It's not a serious problem, of course - but it does mean that the most widely used cross-platform GUI library cannot be unpacked on cygwin and built from source without jumping through hoops. Given that the cygwin environment is very attractive to cross-platform developers I'm betting I'm not the first person who has been burned by this, and won't be the last.
So why don't you ask them to fix it? I mean what do they need a foo and 
a  foo.exe for anyway?
> I'm not sure what the best thing to do about it is - but even a user level patch to tar and unzip to warn when it's done something unexpected would have saved me quite a lot of grief.
Andrew DeFaria <http://defaria.com>
Don't drink and drive... You might hit a bump and spill your drink.

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