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Re: POSIXLY_CORRECT and install scripts

Joe Drew <hoserhead@woot.net> writes:

> On Thu, 2003-01-02 at 19:59, Greg Stark wrote:
> > It would be a good idea to have developers set POSIXLY_CORRECT at least once
> > during testing their packages to ensure they aren't depending on some
> > non-posix GNU behaviour in their packages. Ideally at least some developers
> > should use it all the time to avoid such bugs at run-time.
> What's the problem with depending on GNU behaviour? IIRC even the
> Debian-BSD folk are going to be using the GNU runtime.

Well mostly because users might have POSIXLY_CORRECT set and it would suck for
programs to just randomly fail to install or misbehave in that case. 

But even internally it's not really a good decision to depend on non-standard
mostly undocumented behaviour. It makes it harder to interoperate with other
systems if someone does want to use our packages on a non-debian system, it
makes it harder to adopt new versions of programs if decide we like another
implementation of something instead of the current one, and for that matter
there's no guarantee the GNU programs won't change behaviour at some point in
the future. Whereas we can be pretty sure POSIX mandated behaviour won't
change, at least without notice.

If a maintainer really needed a non-posix compliant feature and did
"POSIXLY_CORRECT= foo" in the script I guess there wouldn't be a serious
problem for Debian. But It seems like it would still be a bad idea. In any
case there would be virtually no reason to ever feel the need to do that.
Nearly all the changes POSIXLY_CORRECT makes are things like not permuting
command-line arguments, using 512b blocks in df(1) (making df -k the norm),


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