RFC for feature request

Dave Barnett barnetda at ghg.net
Sun May 12 15:03:02 EST 2002


Recently at work we've begun using rsync to sync up our development baseline 
area between our office in Houston, and the one in Gatwick.

We use rsync quite extensively, and are quite happy with it, but have run 
into a bug discussed by Dave Dykstra in the "Discussion/2214" entry on the 
rsync website:

Basically, due to the way fnmatch does it's matching for excludes, something 
we thought we had excluded got clobbered when we didn't want it to be 
touched.   The issue is that fnmatch expects to match from the beginning, but 
we were trying to match deeper in the directory structure.

Once we found Dave's comments, we were able to get around the issue, but it 
got me to thinking.  His parting words were:
Someday include/exclude's semantics and implementation should be completely

I'm very familiar with Perl, and Perl regular expressions, as I use both 
constantly.  At http://www.pcre.org you will find the Perl Compatible Regular 
Expression library.

What I'd like to propose [and am willing to work on in my "free" time], is to 
a) a new command-line option [or two] that allow for the fnmatch behavior 
[default] or the use of the PCRE library's RE engine.
b) the functions to implement the file matching bits needed by include / 
exclude using the pcre library functions.

However, before I delve into doing this, I'd like some comments:
1) Has the above bug already been worked out?
2) Is anyone working on such a re-write / addition?  Doesn't have to be using 
"pcre", but I'd hate to "waste" time implementing it if someone else is 
already working along the same lines.
3) How are things like this normally handled?

The reason I would prefer to do this as an additional option is that it will 
allow existing scripts to continue unchanged, while allowing those who want 
to use the pcre features can do so.



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