Re: Where did read-symlink go? Lassi Kortela 31 Jul 2019 19:02 UTC

>     The read-symlink procedure seems to have disappeared
>
> It's not clear to me that it's actually useful in typical programs,
> unless you want to write your own ls -l implementation.  Googling around
> shows no one explaining the purpose of it.

readlink() is a fixture of a typical Unix API, but now that you mention
it, it doesn't have all that many applications. It's useful to resolve
and canonicalize the pathname of a symlink, but realpath() already does
that.

I think I've come across one or two Unix applications that depend on the
pathname encoded inside the symlink being in a particular format (i.e.
it made a difference whether it was absolute or relative, etc.) But that
seems like quite brittle design, and it's not common.

So I don't have an opinion whether or not to include it. Either is fine.