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Re: Consistency of patch output

From: Jason Heeris
Subject: Re: Consistency of patch output
Date: Tue, 15 Sep 2009 07:23:31 +0800

2009/9/15 Bob Proulx <>:
> Jason Heeris wrote:
>> I'm using patch from with a python script, and I was thinking of parsing

> I read this as you are running 'patch' as an external system command
> and capturing the output and then parsing it to determine if patches
> were successfully implemented or if not what was rejected?

Yep, exactly. I parse the output to extract the information: file
patched, success, reject file (if applicable).

>> Or a library? Text output is not strictly an API at all, let alone a
>> stable one :P and I worry that the output of patch won't remain the
> If you only use standard features you will improve your portability.

My only fear was that a particular error message might change, or some
other detail of the text output. This seems unlikely the more I think
about it. I think for now I'll just relax and make sure my parsing is
as sensible as possible.

>> way it is now, especially error messages. (I don't think that patch
>> is translated by any major distro, so that's probably ignorable.)
> For automated parsing you might be best served by forcing a standard
> locale setting with 'LC_ALL=POSIX' (aka 'LC_ALL=C') when running the
> program.

This is great advice, thanks, I hadn't thought of this.

Jason Heeris

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