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Re: portability of 'printf' command

From: Harlan Stenn
Subject: Re: portability of 'printf' command
Date: Wed, 07 Apr 2010 18:58:58 -0400

Karl wrote:

> I fully recognize that people are still running Solaris 7 (and probably
> older versions) on mission-critical and other systems.  But, how many of
> those systems are (a) installing brand-new GNU packages (which
> presumably wouldn't be happening on mission-critical systems) *and*
> (b) have *not* previously installed coreutils/sh-utils?

I may be missing a key bit here.

The issue is that somebody may be *upgrading* a previously-installed

>From my POV, as long as one can bootstrap to the point where there is a
sufficient base of utilities, all is well.

As an aside, I remember there used to be a bunch of GNU utilities that
had not been updated in a Long Time, and it always bothered me that when
new versions of automake/autoconf were available that these other
utilities were not upgraded to use them.

Newer versions of autoconf sometimes fixed bugs and sometimes (better)
detected system vagaries.  They also sometimes made it much easier to
support or allow for things like cross-compiling.

Newer versions of automake sometimes fixed bugs and sometimes added
significant usability items, especially regarding package installation.

If a system is in production, one needs to be able to get new packages
installed on it, and different systems different levels of "bootstrap"
issues will crop up.

I suspect we all know this, but I want to be sure the bootstrap issue is
actively considered in all of this, as it as been my experience all too
often that somebody at point A will make an assumption about the
"foundation" at point B (and perhaps not test it), and then somebody
else will make an assumption at point B about the "foundation" at point
A (and perhaps not test it), and then when reality bites, it is
discovered that with the newer releases of software, "we can't get there
from here".


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