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Re: Proposed new POSIX sh policy

On Sun, 2006-11-19 at 15:47 -0700, Bruce Sass wrote:
> > Posix puts grep, ls, kill, test, and echo all in *exactly the same
> > category*.  So why does posh treat them so differently?
> In the case of ls, because the author "cannot think of a legitimate 
> reason for anyone to use ls in a shell script", and he thinks "it would 
> add little value." Presumably grep is in the same boat.

Care to know how many scripts in Debian call grep?  I checked.  It's not
a small number.
> > Why is
> > catching non-Posix uses of test and echo important, and non-Posix
> > uses of ls grep not important?
> I would expect that sh scripts which use non-spec'd features of ls or 
> grep would be open to receiving bug reports for violating Policy. Why 
> do you think that is not the case?

Because Policy does not mandate compliance with arbitrary Posix
implementations.  It mandates this only for the shell, under the
illusion (apparently) that there is some sense to saying "you can only
use Posix shell features" and "you are free to use Debian features of
Debian programs".

The fact that the shell does not happen to declare any random Debian
command as a builtin, and then do something weird with it, is also a
non-spec'd feature of the shell.  So by your reasoning there is almost
no #!/bin/sh shell script in Debian which does not violate Policy.

Clearly Policy must not be read in such a way that nearly every script
violates it.


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