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Re: portability of 'printf' command

From: Bob Friesenhahn
Subject: Re: portability of 'printf' command
Date: Mon, 5 Apr 2010 16:58:35 -0500 (CDT)
User-agent: Alpine 2.01 (GSO 1266 2009-07-14)

On Mon, 5 Apr 2010, Eric Blake wrote:

On 01/-10/-28163 12:59 PM, Bruno Haible wrote:
Is the 'printf' command portable enough to be used in configure files
and autoconf macros?

The GNU Coding Standards [1] don't mention it as a portable utility. Indeed,
when you use bash version 1 (which does not have 'printf' built-in) on a
platform that does not have a /usr/bin/printf program, you would be hosed.
But which platforms are this? The Autoconf manual [2] does not mention a lack
of 'printf' anywhere.

Is someone aware of a platform that does not have a /usr/bin/printf or
/bin/printf program?

Given that Solaris 8 is about as far back as gnulib currently supports,
I think we are at the point where the known lack of printf(1) in older
Solaris is no longer worth worrying about.  And, given that we document

What relevance does gnulib have to Autoconf or printf portability? It seems to be irrelevant.

Solaris 8 was released in February 2000. I still test my own software on Solaris 2.6 (July, 1997). Due to hardware support issues, some people are forced to use an old Solaris version if they still want to be able to use the hardware.

It is useful that Autoconf (at least) still be prepared to work on very old bare systems even if many applications don't care to support old systems.

Bob Friesenhahn
GraphicsMagick Maintainer,

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