| Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2002 09:09:41 +0100
| From: "John P. Looney" <valen at tuatha.org>
|[ ... ]
| That's something that POSIX would do - make every platform as
| equally broken, rather than standing up and saying "how about
| we try & make everyone better".
eh? POSIX doesn't "do" anything. POSIX is a de jour
specification for a voluntary minimal implementation to
encourage software transportability. no-one, absolutely
no-one, has or ever had to implement POSIX or be restricted
to POSIX. commercial considerations et.al. may encourage
some "POSIX-compatibility", but that's a freely-made choice.
IMHO, the process's weakness is a general rule --- which
has been ignored on occasion --- to only consider "formal"
submissions of "proven" technologies. that translates into
specifying more-or-less common parts of the existing *ix
implementations which actively contribute to the process.
most of the committees are loath to blue-sky, solicit
proposals/research, or pick an uncommon or unsponsored
implementation, even when manifestly superior. (IMHO,
this is why POSIX is *ix and not, e.g., Plan9 or Inferno.)
OTOH, considering the motivating force behind the process,
it can be argued the above "weakness" is a strength ....
| (why? Because in the real world, you can't. Somethings just suck)
yep. which is not to say POSIX "sucks" per se. but the old
pre-POSIX *ix world arguably did, at least in terms of ease
of software porting. one of *ix's claims to fame is it is
perhaps the first system where one could seriously consider
porting, more or less intact and with relative ease, software
from one architecture+platform+vendor to a radically utterly
however, as people discovered, there's a lot of difference
between "consider porting" and "actually porting" --- and
some problems were silly. some were self-inflicted (e.g.,
assuming byte-orientation or a particular endianness); but
others were Frustrating "system" incompatibilities --- the
motivating force that lead to /usr/group, XPG (X/Open), POSIX,
Spec1170, Unix98, Common Unix, &tc.
«The nice thing about standards is there's so many to
choose from.» -- commonly attributed to bwk.
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