The man page for dd(1) describes the "sync" parameter of the "conv=" option
sync Pad every input block to the input buffer size. Spaces
are used for pad bytes if a block oriented conversion
value is specified, otherwise NUL bytes are used.
This verbage is entirely unclear. What is a "block oriented conversion value"
and how would a user know whether or not he had specified one?
The man page should make this more clear & explicit.
I don't know what the fix is because I don't have the vaguest idea what a
"block oriented conversion value" is.
man 1 dd
Well, the "conversion value" is the set of all parameters that you have
supplied to "conv" - you can supply more than one using commas. And I
think that "block-oriented" should mean that some of the things that you
have specified say that the output should be in blocks - either that it
is in blocks by default (and you have *not* requested unblocking it by
using "ascii", "oldascii" or "unblock"), or that you've requested that
dd(1) make it into blocks using one of the "block", "ebcdic", "ibm",
"oldebcdic" and "oldibm" conversion specifiers.
Of course, I could be wrong, but that's how I myself understand the
Peter Pentchev firstname.lastname@example.org roam@FreeBSD.org email@example.com
PGP key: http://people.FreeBSD.org/~roam/roam.key.asc
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No language can express every thought unambiguously, least of all this one.
In message <20130329131835.GA15952@straylight.m.ringlet.net>, you wrote:
>Of course, I could be wrong, but that's how I myself understand the
Thank you, but I think that the important point here is that the man
page should be clear about all this, so that people can use the tool
without guessing as to the semantics, and without having to rely on
additional sources of information about the semantics (e.g. the source
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