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Re: [PATCH] * config.sub: Cordon off single-component aliases

From: Paul Eggert
Subject: Re: [PATCH] * config.sub: Cordon off single-component aliases
Date: Fri, 18 May 2018 19:07:24 -0700
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:52.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/52.7.0

On 05/18/2018 05:42 PM, Ben Elliston wrote:
${parameter:-word} is in POSIX, but I don't know how portable it is to
old Bourne shells.  Paul?

Although it does not work on old Bourne shells, I suspect we don't need to worry about them any more.

The "Shellology" section of the Autoconf manual says ${VAR:-VALUE} causes old BSD shells to complain and die, and mentions Ultrix. However, as far as I know these old shells are now museum pieces. The last Ultrix release was in 1995. I haven't fielded an Ultrix bug report for many years.

For what it's worth, 'configure' scripts are still portable to Ultrix because they search for a POSIX-compatible shell by trying a list of programs that includes 'sh5', which was how Ultrix did it. I think this was due to the late Fred Canter, who specialized in getting the farkles out.  See:

Hall J. The last farkle. Linux J. 2007-12-02.

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