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9:59 AM
@Zanna I intend to finish I'm hoping to get ---substantially-- at least a little more done on the sudo/$HOME Q&A. We have this answer. It was posted before 19.10 was out, but the information it gives is still correct. I actually upvoted that, some time ago, but forgot about it. (I didn't forget about this 19.10 behavior, having observed it before that. I upgraded a couple systems to eoan quite early in testing. But I forgot about that post.)
Given that answer, is there really a reason for my separate Q&A to exist?
I'm pretty sure the answer is yes, but I think that thinking this through more explicitly may clarify what information belongs in my answer and in what level of detail.
 
I hadn't seen that answer. It's good, but I think a new Q&A is needed
 
10:15 AM
Yes. I think most of what I'm doing in this Q&A does not fall under that question, at least as the question has been interpreted so far. Most of it, even if it could be condensed, would not belong in my answer there.
Oh, I didn't forget about that post. I upvoted it well before the 19.10 material was added.
 
@EliahKagan 404
 
Chat decided the trailing . was part of the URL.
 
unrelated to everything, are there any good productivity/office suites (like LibreOffice) for Android? My dad for some reason decided to disable or uninstall Google Play Services because some ads in WPS were annoying him. The ads apparently went away but unsurprisingly nothing worked and he's been ranting about how "Google Play Services has locked me out of my tablet" for the last two days.
I managed to sort it out today without getting shouted at too much, but now he's complaining that the ads are back
@EliahKagan sorry, I should have realised that!
 
@Zanna Not really--it's my fault, and not chat's (or yours) that my link was wrong.
@Zanna I feel like any amount of getting shouted at is too much. At least in this situation. Although, if you were about to walk in front of a bus due to being distracted by problems with Android and someone shouted at you to not walk in front of the bus...
(And here I am, back on my soapbox about not troubleshooting Android while walking in front of buses.)
@Zanna If you find the answer, please let me know. What kind of device is it?
More than Android, I'd be interested to know if there are good office suites for Chrome OS.
@EliahKagan There's no simple correct rule for when a trailing punctuation character in prose that embeds bare URLs should be considered part of a URL. I usually check how my URLs are linkified in these situations.
@Zanna That reminds me of something I was wondering about relating to WPS. It's on-topic for the Downboat, though, so I'll ask there. (Asked.)
 
10:36 AM
@EliahKagan lol
@EliahKagan it's a Nexus 7. I have one and my dad has one
 
@Zanna Are those good?
 
It's ok, it's a rather old budget mini tablet. I suspect it was 2010 or 11 my dad bought them. I use mine mainly for watching YouTube videos, streaming music, and video chat, mainly because its speaker is relatively good (Bluetooth speaker is on my stuff to save up for list) Lately, the touchscreen is not working well. It's insensitive in some areas and oversensitive in others. But my dad's seems to be fine
@EliahKagan it's often difficult to help my dad because he takes a lot of things as personal insults that are not in any way intended as personal insults
@EliahKagan oooh
I remember reading a comparison article of productivity suites for Linux. There were surprisingly few candidates.
 
@Zanna Hmm.
@Zanna How many there are may depend in part on how one counts them.
 
10:51 AM
true...
 
I was thinking that I've used a number of office suites on GNU/Linux systems, but by some countings, I've used very few.
I used StarOffice, then OpenOffice, then OpenOffice.org (which is really the new name of OpenOffice), then LibreOffice, and I have used Apache OpenOffice (which is really the new name of OpenOffice.org).
I think of this as three office suites, but some people might count it as more, or as two, or as one.
(OpenOffice was effectively what StarOffice became. StarOffice had other names before that, IIRC.)
Oh, I forgot about NeoOffice. No I didn't, that was only for Mac OS X.
I've used AbiWord quite a lot, though I don't currently use it except to open old .abw files and I don't recommend it to most people. In general, I want a word processor to work (at least) on GNU/Linux, Windows, and macOS. When AbiWord dropped support for Windows, this was only a minor inconvenience for me, but even that motivated me to switch back to LibreOffice.
Though really the larger factor that got me to stop using AbiWord was that its spell-checker would identify shouldn as a misspelling in words like shouldn't. (This happened on all systems and in all the versions I used.)
I also found that, even back then, LibreOffice had better document recovery functionality in the event of a crash, power failure, or whatnot.
@Zanna I actually am not sure I know what a productivity suite is or how, if at all, that differs from an office suite.
 
I used OpenOffice from I think around 2003 or 4 until about 2012 when I found MS Office had become less annoying. I used MS Office until 2015 when I started using Linux. Since then, I've only used LibreOffice
 
There's a couple recommendations in this answer but I don't know if they are good.
 
@EliahKagan oh I don't know what I'm talking about, I probably mean an office suite
I don't know the difference if there is one
@EliahKagan LibreOffice has done a good job for me a few times in that respect!
I have quite frequently had to work with documents created by other people in MS Office, so I am always looking and hoping for better compatibility
@EliahKagan thanks, I'll suggest to my dad. He can try it and see
 
11:19 AM
No problem. I haven't tried them at all btw.
 
I don't have a need for this type of software on my Android devices. Maybe it's because I'm not adapting to new stuff that I feel limited by not having a real keyboard
I do feel the need for a file manager though
 
@Zanna Can you use a Bluetooth keyboard?
 
well I don't see any reason why I couldn't if I had one
 
 
2 hours later…
1:18 PM
probably buying one of those would help with various issues I have at the moment, and allow me to put off buying a new laptop for a little while
I see they are not very expensive
the Bluetooth on my toaster is unreliable though. I should get a keyboard that can connect by USB and Bluetooth
Another problem with taking this laptop back with me on an international flight has arisen
Before I left, the battery was working badly, i.e. it would charge up over several hours, then when it was full I would disconnect it and it would run out in a short time, between 5 minutes and 20 minutes
but now the battery does not charge at all, and the laptop won't switch on without being plugged into AC or stay on at all if it's disconnected
this is a problem because on routes into and out of the UK, and probably many others, airport security requires laptops, tablets and phones to be charged and able to be turned on for examination. I remember last time I went through Abu Dhabi I (and everyone else going through security) was actually asked to turn on all my devices and log into them
 
1:36 PM
Are you checking a bag? If so, can it go in there?
 
I am, but the airline does not allow laptops in hold baggage (and as far as I know others don't either)
 
2:06 PM
Hmm, I'm not sure then. Perhaps there is no good way to bring it. You could have it shipped, but I don't know if that's worth it.
@Zanna Very annoyingly but sort of conveniently, I accidentally submitted the sudo/$HOME Q&A before finishing it. I've deleted it for now as I continue working on it (the system doesn't let me edit the question while it's deleted, but it does let me edit the answer). Here it is, if you want to see my latest "draft."
 
haha my mental markdown parser can have a rest
 
!
I figured you would use a... program for that. :)
Also, you are perhaps too optimistic.
 
well I am a teacher XD
 
@EliahKagan Unless I finish the answer well before I expect, I'll put future drafts here rather than saving multiple drafts while it's still deleted, since repeated edits on my own deleted post like that might not be considered an appropriate use of the system.
@Zanna :)
Thanks for the grammar edit! :)
However, I think our edits run the high risk of conflicting.
 
oh no
sorry
the Q&A looks awesome :D
 
2:21 PM
Thanks -- the answer is far from done, though.
@Zanna It's fine so far. Right now, to keep both your edits and my substantial unsubmitted material, I have to manually apply your edits to the revision I am currently working on. But this has not yet been a problem, because your edits so far have all been very fast and easy for me to apply manually to the current revision.
Hmm, I keep getting the banner at the top telling me the post has just been edited. But there are no new edits.
 
@EliahKagan bug?
I will not make any more edits!
 
@Zanna Yes.
@Zanna If I think I am going to afk for a long time, I can let you know. Your proofreading is much appreciated! I still won't want to go through many cycles, though -- I'd want to ask on Ask Ubuntu Meta before assuming people are okay with that kind of collaborative editing workflow on immediately self-deleted posts, and I don't want to do that because I have this big Q&A on the main site that I'd want to finish first...
I'm pretty sure doing it once--that is, me submitting my changes, you editing, and me continuing from there--would be totally fine though.
 
2:38 PM
:)
 
3:26 PM
@EliahKagan I think I'll leave it here and use it when I come here, thus avoiding the hassle of carrying laptops through airport security altogether :) Maybe that's the best use of it
 
@Zanna Could you leave it in the UK and still use it?
Perhaps it could be your Git server. :)
 
haha good point. I don't want to leave it switched on, using power all the time
it has a spinning HDD and I don't know what that borked battery is doing, maybe wasting a lot of energy, although it's a good sign that it's not getting hot
 
 
1 hour later…
4:52 PM
@Zanna I think I can submit something very soon that, assuming it actually makes sense and that I'm not making any huge mistakes or forgetting something big, will resemble the "final" version. In particular, I think I could do that in 15 minutes or so. Would you be available to look it over around then? I fully understand if you are not.
 
yes, I will, or if not exactly then, at least a short time later. I expect to be more or less around for another 2 hours or so :)
 
Okay.
I have not submitted it yet.
Thanks.
 
:)
 
5:25 PM
@Zanna I have submitted the edit. Sorry about the delay; that was over ten minutes longer than I intended. I made more writing mistakes than I thought I had.
 
5:45 PM
sudo --preserve-env=PATH command actually works (I was not expecting that)
but, sudo -E command does not preserve PATH
 
Hmm.
This is vaguely familar.
 
I knew about that. But I wonder why it is the case
I knew we could get sudo to use our PATH with sudo env PATH=$PATH command
but, I didn't think we could do it without resorting to an external command
 
Should the answer be changed so it does not imply that sudo -E command looks up command using the $PATH that sudo inherits from the caller?
 
sorry, I don't think your answer needs to talk about that
I just... saw that and got sidetracked
 
@Zanna Okay.
 
5:52 PM
(I mean, -E is supposed to preserve all environment variables, like the answer says, but it doesn't)
ok, finished reading
 
Thoughts?
Also please feel free to edit. I am not currently editing it.
Also, thanks for reading it!
 
I think the new part with the quotes that summarises the history works really well
it seems like you covered all the things that people might want to do or might worry about in relation to the change
 
Is it good or bad that the answer is so wide-ranging?
 
I think it's great!
 
:)
I ask because... it's almost as long as an answer is allowed to be.
Some of that is due to the many links.
Still though.
 
6:01 PM
it's a comprehensive answer
 
That was my goal.
Is there anything you recommend changing, that you don't feel like changing yourself in an edit?
 
@EliahKagan yeah :) If only every topic had an answer like this
thank you for your hard work
@EliahKagan I didn't see anything I thought should be changed
 
@Zanna :)
I wanted this Q&A to exist.
You have helped greatly.
@Zanna Not even typos/copyedits?
I will undelete it shortly, then.
 
@EliahKagan yes, me too. I wanted us (I mean Ask Ubuntu) to handle the change to sudo helpfully, and this does that
@EliahKagan I don't think I did anything haha :)
@EliahKagan nope :)
 
6:29 PM
@Zanna I've undeleted the Q&A.
 
excellent
 
7:09 PM
@Zanna Do you think your answer about that should be expanded to cover the --preserve-env=PATH way?
 
I have no memory of writing that answer :(
but yes!
it should definitely explain that
I should probably rewrite that whole answer
 
Rewrite it? Why so?
 
maybe it's not that bad
 
There was some chat discussion relating to it that might or might not be helpful to refer back to. It starts around here. (Some of the older messages in these search results may be helpful for finding parts of that conversation that are most relevant.)
 
has it always been the case that --preserve-env=PATH works?
 
7:16 PM
I don't know, but that seems like something I can probably check efficiently.
I'll be back soon.
 
@EliahKagan that does help!
I am feeling sleepy so I'll try to work on that tomorrow
thanks for finding it!
 
@Zanna No problem.
@Zanna Good night. Thanks again for your help with that Q&A!
 
 
2 hours later…
9:12 PM
@Zanna I've just checked. The answer is no... but it's not that --preserve-env=PATH ever failed to preserve $PATH.
The -E option predates. When --preserve-env was introduced, it was just the long form of -E. It did not accept an operand; it could not be used to preserve a list of one or more specifically named environment variables, as it can today.
Even in that limited form, --preserve-env is not all that old. Ubuntu 12.04 LTS did not have it. 14.04 LTS did. I haven't tested the releases in between to see when it came in, so I don't know if it was new as of 14.04 or if it was present earlier. The manual pages for old non-LTS releases are no longer at manpages.ubuntu.com so I can't easily check which versions documented its presence.
To be clear, I think there's a fairly easy way to check this... but I don't think it's very important. What's more important is when the new --preserve-env=list form came in. That happened in 18.04 LTS. Here's the 18.04 LTS manpage, which documents its presence, and the 17.10 manpage, which does not.
I have verified using LXD that it wasn't present but undocumented in sudo in Ubuntu prior to 18.04 LTS.
So the first Ubuntu release that has --preserve-env=list is 18.04 LTS. And in that release, --preserve-env=PATH does work to preserve $PATH, even though -E (and --preserve-env without an operand, which in that usage just means -E) does not:
ubuntu@bionic:~$ printenv PATH
/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/bin:/usr/games:/usr/local/games:/snap/bin
ubuntu@bionic:~$ sudo printenv PATH
/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/bin:/snap/bin
ubuntu@bionic:~$ sudo -E printenv PATH
/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/bin:/snap/bin
ubuntu@bionic:~$ sudo --preserve-env printenv PATH  # same as -E
/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/bin:/snap/bin
ubuntu@bionic:~$ sudo --preserve-env=PATH printenv PATH
In terms of when --preserve-env=list was added upstream, that happened in August 2017. One can search for a6bc511a2e81 in the changelog or examine the full change.
 

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