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Re: LSB Spec 1.0 Criticism

>From: kaih@khms.westfalen.de (Kai Henningsen)

>> >The next (Austin) revision drops the cpio utility. It keeps the format for
>> >pax, though, and it still doesn't do non-binary ids.
>> The cpio format should have never made it into the POSIX spec. It is a very
>> ugly design which cannot be extended at all without completely beaking
>> compatibility.

>It was believen necessary for compatibility. If you want to throw it out,  
>you should likewise throw out the old tar format, and then the new forman  
>wouldn't have needed to be so ugly.

When first POSIX.1-1990 drafts have been around (without cpio) there was no
need for compatibility as close to nobody used the cpio format.
Why do you believe should there be compatibility in a standard if it turns
out that the format in question does not make sense?

The only reason was that AT&T told their customers in 1985 that cpio will 
be the final 'official UNIX format'.

>> >And the new compromise extended tar format, while it can do just about
>> >everything, is really a butt-ugly design.
>> It is a really elegant design which allows infinite future extension without
>> breaking forward/backwards compatibility.

>Elegant?! I feel the need to barf whenever I see the spec.

I guess that you never loked into a data stream that complies to the spec.

Get the latest star-1.4a05 from:


and judge fom seeing and not from reading.

>Ok, if you would junk all the backward compatibility stuff, *then* it  
>could be called elegant. But that's not what happened.

The tar format has been around for a long time and the basic goal when
the tar format has been extended always was to retain upwards/downwards 
compatibility. This is the main reason why the tar format survived...


 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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