(386) Unix (In)compatibilities Summary

Moderator, John S. Quarterman std-unix at longway.TIC.COM
Sat Sep 3 00:09:42 AEST 1988

>Newsgroups: comp.unix.microport,comp.sys.att,comp.std.unix
>Followup-To: comp.unix.microport
From: Dominic Dunlop <uunet!mcvax!sphinx.co.uk!domo>

[ I'm not quite sure whether this was already posted to any of the
other newsgroups, since I don't follow them, but I'm going to play
it safe and just post it on comp.std.unix.  Let me know if I guessed
wrong, Dominic.  -mod ]

In article <1061 at apt.UUCP> brian at award.UUCP (Brian Litzinger) writes:
>> [Material from Greg Woods requesting tales of incompatibilities between
>>  V.3 ports on 80386-based systems.]
>I'm curious if the following does or does not consitute a compatibility
>Two different versions of 386 Unix V.3: Brand X and Brand Y
>Same Application software
>Same Hardware
>Brand X can successfully talk to my telebit at 19200 baud rate.
>Brand Y cannot.
>The problem is caused by Brand Y's serial port driver.
>Does this mean Brand Y is not compatible?  After all, every application
>that talks to my telebit fails.

This sort of issue is the reason behind the incredibly detailed description
of terminal devices in the POSIX 1003.1 standard.  (Although I'd feel a
little more secure in writing that if I had the standard to hand, rather
than having left it at home...)  Compliant systems should all agree on
whether or not they can talk to a particular type of modem.  V.3 is not
compliant.  Yet.  To put it another way, how a system drives a modem is
outside the scope of the standard set by an Application Binary Interface.

By the way, a company called Mindcraft ((800) LE POSIX/(415) 493-7277) has
recently introduced a POSIX Conformance Test Suite (PCTS), which it
developed under contract to IBM, and which Mindcraft is authorised to
distribute.  According to a product description picked up by a colleague at
the recent Uniforum show in Washington, the PCTS can be run on a
non-conforming system in order to determine what must be done to make the
system conformant.  Yours for $2,500.  Looks useful.  Those interested
should form an orderly line in Palo Alto.

(Usual disclaimers apply, particularly as I haven't perused the product!
--  Hi, Bruce!)

[ There's a story about Mindcraft in the first issue of UNIX Today.  -mod ]
Dominic Dunlop
domo at sphinx.co.uk  domo at riddle.uucp

Volume-Number: Volume 15, Number 8

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