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Re: LSB Spec 1.0 Criticism

>From dstarner98@aasaa.ofe.org Thu Jul  5 03:39:30 2001

>> If you think about CPIO, keep in mind that it is an outdated format with
>> POSIX-200x. TAR is the only format that is extendable without end and
>> breaking backward compatibility.

>And what about PAX, the POSIX compromise?

PAX is in principle just a different interface to CPIO or TAR.

In 1987 when (AFAIK) the first POSIX-1003 draft came out there was only
TAR listed as standard. Then AT&T came into problems because they 
told their customers in 1984 that CPIO will be the archive format of the future.
So with some force they brought one of the 6 completely incompatible CPIO 
formats into POSIX too. They later added the -Hformat option top the cpio 
command so cpio even could create USTAR archives.

Later pax was defined as a comprimise user interface.

Important for discusions is from my point of view not the user interface
of the archiver but the archive format being used.

While the POSIX cpio format is limited to 65000 hard links and transfers
only 6/11 octal numbers resulting in 

maxuid:		262143
maxfilsize:	8 GB

USTAR from the old POSIX standard may have

maxuid:		2097151
maxfilesize	8 GB
hardlinks	unlimited

POSIX-200x tar will cancel all previous tar limits with introducing
xtended headers with strings of arbitrary length.

>> .... of course you should not use GNUtar because it is not POSIX and
>> it breaks basic TAR rules due to heavy design bugs.

>But Debian doesn't have any other tar's besides OpenBSD Pax.

... seems at least closer to the POSIX standard as GNU tar.

but it does not pass my POSIX testsuite from 


>> Star is POSIX compliant: ftp://ftp.fokus.gmd.de/pub/unix/star

>If it's an issue, why hasn't it already been packaged? By you if no one

I am an Author of highly portable open source software. It is up to
the distributors to pack programs of interest.


 EMail:joerg@schily.isdn.cs.tu-berlin.de (home) Jörg Schilling D-13353 Berlin
       js@cs.tu-berlin.de		(uni)  If you don't have iso-8859-1
       schilling@fokus.gmd.de		(work) chars I am J"org Schilling
 URL:  http://www.fokus.gmd.de/usr/schilling   ftp://ftp.fokus.gmd.de/pub/unix

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