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Re: portability of 'printf' command

From: Dr. David Kirkby
Subject: Re: portability of 'printf' command
Date: Wed, 07 Apr 2010 21:58:16 +0100
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20090323)

Karl Berry wrote:
    And the reason that I would _like_ to have printf(1) added to the list
    of portable tools is because of the number of non-portable shell scripts
    that are currently using 'echo -n', which is doomed to failure in some
    shells, instead of printf because printf was not listed in the permitted

About that, echo -n was and never will be portable, have to go through
the tests of -n vs. \c, etc.  I doubt that's news to anyone here :).

I seem to recall that we've already given up on explicitly testing other
things lacking in SunOS 4, though the specifics elude me.
In any event, I suspect that anyone using such an ancient system *and*
installing a brand-new version of package foo that uses printf in its
autoconfery would also have installed coreutils (or at least sh-utils),
and therefore will have printf after all.

So I'm not seeing a strong argument against this.  Barring objections,
I'll send it on to rms ... except I'll be offline until next Tuesday, so
don't expect anything before next week.


Solaris 7 lacks this, so one does not have to go back as far as you believe.


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