From: Philip Reynolds (phil at domain rfc-networks.ie)
Date: Tue 25 Jun 2002 - 09:50:59 IST
Waider's [waider at domain waider.ie] 34 lines of wisdom included:
> I think the point he was making is that POSIX compliance in this case
> appears to mean adding two more executables with no usefully
> distinguishable function from the existing toolset.
The point of being POSIX compliance, is complying to POSIX
standards. The point is that when someone writes a script that is
meant to be as portable as possible, testing whether a system has rm
or unlink shouldn't be an issue.
> In practical terms, I wonder if anyone has ever used either of
> these in the past? Not having POSIX specs or a history of same to
> hand, I am going only on hearsay, and hearsay is that the POSIX
> specs were a compromise across many versions of Unix, where
> compromise in this case means "include ALL from column A and ALL
> from column B" rather than a little of each. As such, I am not
> 100% convinced that esoteric and pretty much useless binaries like
> link/unlink do anything other than achieving POSIX for the sake of
> POSIX, which is a pretty useless goal.
I don't understand why you think complying to POSIX standards some
of the time, when it suits, is a good idea. Fair enough if you think
POSIX compliance is an unworthy goal of UNIX and it's variants
nowadays, but some of us differ.
Have you ever tried to write portable code, or shell scripts that
work under different Operating systems (say Linux or Solaris), I
daresay that some of the software you use or your favourite
utilities wouldn't be around, or probably not as you know them,
without some sort of compliance between Operating Systems.
These binaries may seem completely useless to you, but for
developers or code maintainers they can be invaluable.
In fact, Linux probably would never have been half as popular were
it not for the fact that it complied with POSIX.1 operating system
standard. These two utilities are probably meaningless to you
because you've grown as a user/admin on a system where rm was always
-- Philip Reynolds RFC Networks tel: 01 8832063 www.rfc-networks.ie fax: 01 8832041
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