Official position on POSIX compliance?
I am not a developer. However, currently I am preparing a package and
do some random bug fixing. At some point that brought me across the
issue of POSIX compliance. Even though I've got the impression (from
mailing lists and IRC) that this is The Right Thing (tm), I was not able
to find either any official statement, or a statement expressing the
consensus of Debian developers on the issue. Maybe, such document(s)
exist, in which case I would appreciate the pointers. Assuming, that it
does not, I would like to ask a few questions, to get the discussion
going, and, possibly, produce such a document.
For those not very familiar with the issue, POSIX is Portable Operating
System Interface, a standard developed jointly by the IEEE and The Open
Group. Between other things, it defines the shell syntax and options,
which should be supported by POSIX-compliant utilities . There is quite
a lot of maintainer scripts out there, which require minor modifications
to make them POSIX-compliant. Most frequently encountered cases are:
* 'tail -1' and 'head -1' instead of POSIX-compliant 'tail -n 1' and
'head -n 1'.
* user/group specification as 'user.group' as an argument for chown, for
example. The correct POSIX form is 'user:group'.
* Arguments -a and -o to 'test', which are XSI extensions.
The questions which I would like to have answered are:
* Does the majority of Debian developers agree, that this compliance
should be enforced and bugs should be filed against the non-compliant
* Why isn't POSIX compliance commitment mentioned anywhere in the policy
(except section 10.4, which mentions that all scripts, executed under
/bin/sh must be POSIX-compliant)?
* Are there any plans to introduce it into policy?
* What severity should be assigned to non-POSIX-compliance bugs (if any)?
Thanks and best regards,
Jurij Smakov email@example.com
Key: http://www.wooyd.org/pgpkey/ KeyID: C99E03CC