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Re: About Section 7.2.2 "Utilities in Makefiles" of the GCS

From: Karl Berry
Subject: Re: About Section 7.2.2 "Utilities in Makefiles" of the GCS
Date: Thu, 20 Mar 2008 18:29:02 -0500

Hi Vincent, Ralf, all,

(Combining replies ...)

    But there are two incompatible sh (the traditional Bourne shell, as
    used by default under Solaris, and POSIX sh), and there are some

POSIX did not exist at the time that text in standards.texi was written.
You're right that it should be addressed now.

    This paragraph is not clear if the traditional Bourne shell needs to
    be supported.

Traditional sh should be supported, unless there is some overwhelming
practical reason why it cannot be.  (I don't think that is the case.)

    be taken into account, the following should be added, IMHO: "[to run
    in sh] (both traditional Bourne shell and POSIX shell)".


    * "It is a good idea to avoid creating symbolic links in makefiles,
    since a few systems don't support them."

    It should be better to mention that some *file systems* don't support


    > * "Stick to the generally supported options for these programs."
    > is vague and misleading. 

Well, we can't possibly document every sh portability issue in
standards.texi.  That's not its purpose, and anyway as you all know the
Autoconf manual is already making that attempt ...

    Maybe it should link to the Autoconf manual section about portable shell

Sounds good.

    But mentioning to generally not assume more than POSIX except
    in a few well-known-portable cases is probably a good idea.

Sounds good.

Can one of you propose a patch?

I'll write about the diff/cmp issue separately, since it seems more
contentious and complicated.


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