Standards Update, IEEE 1003.0: POSIX Guide

Moderator, John S. Quarterman std-unix at longway.TIC.COM
Sat Apr 14 03:30:08 AEST 1990

From: Jason Zions <uunet!!jason>

<Regarding the possible requirement of 1003.1 in all POSIX profiles,
the Update author predicts 1003.1 will not be required.>

>[Editor: We disagree.  1003.1 is a set of applications programming
>interfaces carefully chosen to be necessary and sufficient to make an
>operating system UNIX-like for the C programmer.  Providing standards
>for a UNIX-like operating system should be the goal of the POSIX
>standards, and attempts by vendors uncomfortable with UNIX to dilute
>the effort should be cut off at the pass.]

This is the basic question "Must all 1003 standards assume the
presence of 1003.1?" This has already been answered with a resounding
"NO"; take a look at 1003.2, which is expressly intended to work in
environments in which 1003.1 does not exist.

Other 1003 standards explicitly build upon 1003.1 (and perhaps on
others as well); clearly, profiles including 1003.4 will have to
include 1003.1, as the 1003.4 spec clearly states that 1003.1 is a

>[Author: POSIX must evolve a set of independent standards that have
>UNIX as their heritage. POSIX standards are all evolving as UNIX-like
>standards. Why discourage a vendor from implementing some subset of
>UNIX-like standards just because the vendor is not ready to provide a
>complete 1003.1 implementation? ]

Encourage those subset-producing vendors all you like; just don't let
them call their subset "1003.1-compliant". I think we ought to adopt
more the solution of the Ada folks; no subsets permitted under the
POSIX banner. No one can sell an Ada subset and use the word "Ada" in
the product name. (Oh, well - the IEEE already gave up its trademark
on POSIX. But you see the point.)

But if the purpose for which the profile is being written really
requires the full power of 1003.1, do not hesitate to require it in
the profile. If only a subset of 1003.1 is needed, then be sure to
specify exactly what subset is needed. Don't be fuzzy about it.

Jason Zions

Volume-Number: Volume 19, Number 65

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