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list of portable tools (was: Add 'Required Tools' to README?)

From: Ralf Wildenhues
Subject: list of portable tools (was: Add 'Required Tools' to README?)
Date: Thu, 5 Apr 2007 01:48:33 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.13 (2006-08-11)

A while ago I proposed to create a list of things to add to portable
tools.  Then I forgot.  Apologies.  Thanks to Karl for reminding me!

* Paul Eggert wrote on Thu, Apr 05, 2007 at 12:49:26AM CEST:
> Eric Blake <address@hidden> writes:
> > Is it time to propose that cut and join be added
> join perhaps; it's quite stable so long as you run it in the C locale
> and stick to the old features.  cut I'm not so sure about; it's kind
> of persnickety.

What exactly does the word "persnickety" mean here, and in which way is
cut that way?

> If we were adding portable tools, awk would be the first on my list.

Me too: it's needed for Autoconf-2.62.

For some Libtool algorithmic improvements proposed a longer while ago,
it would be nice to have for example
  fold, split, join, cut, paste

as well.  To be honest, I'm not really sure which of the two lists of
allowed commands applies to libtool: it's used at install time, and also
at make time.  The distinction in make-stds.texi doesn't make a lot of
sense to me, really.

Wrt. replaceability with awk: fold (with -b), split, cut, and paste are
not easily replaceable by awk, due to the line length limitations of the
latter (input must be text file).  I haven't tried for join yet, also I
post this without a prior survey of whether these tools really fare

So, how portable are these tools?  FWIW, MSYS now provides all of them.


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