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Re: Proposed new POSIX sh policy

On Wed, 2006-11-15 at 16:28 -0700, Bruce Sass wrote:
> Hmmm, I guess I'm confused by Thomas's statement...
> "I refused to stop using test -a in my packages as well, and refused to
> declare #!/bin/bash."
> ...and the fact that dash, bash, and test, all document their binary -a 
> operator as having the same behaviour.
> Is their some Bourne style command interpreter other than dash in Debian 
> which offers to provide "sh"?

My open bug against policy on this point, still languishing, is #267142.

At that point, I suggested and still suggest that we change Policy to
restrict /bin/sh to a specific set of shells, rather than just any
"Posix-compatible shell".  

But Policy currently requires correct operation for any Posix-compatible
shell, not just those shipped in Debian.  You might, I'm guessing, agree
with me that simply giving a list would solve the problem, as indeed, it
would.  That's my preferred solution.

Such a list need not be cast into stone.  If we want to add an
additional shell, then we can make the decision, which will inevitably
require such questions as "what scripts might this break? how can we
help maintainers whose scripts might break?"  That's a good thing; what
we have now requires maintainers to intuit somewhat mystically which
things are common shell variations and manage to negotiate them all.

The bug which first alerted me to this issue was #264176.  The reporter
of the bug does not say which shell (if any) failed to support the
relevant feature.

That is, perhaps, part of the reason this is all so silly, and could be
easily solved by listing the shells we care about.  Perhaps all of them
actually support the feature!


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