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Re: [PATCH] doc: update for ISO/IEC 80000-13

From: Bjartur Thorlacius
Subject: Re: [PATCH] doc: update for ISO/IEC 80000-13
Date: Tue, 15 Nov 2011 17:25:18 -0000
User-agent: Opera Mail/11.52 (Win32)

On Tue, 15 Nov 2011 16:28:35 -0000, Paul Eggert <address@hidden> wrote:

+      /* On GNU/Hurd hosts, getuid etc. can fail and return -1.
+         However, on GNU/Linux hosts, uid_t is an unsigned value and
+         getuid etc. can return the positive value (uid_t) -1.  To
+         handle both cases correctly, consider getuid etc. to fail if
+         it returns a negative value (a value that is impossible on
+         GNU/Linux hosts).
+         GNU/Linux sysadmins should not give users the UID (uid_t) -1
+         even though uid_t is unsigned, as system calls like chown would
+         not have the desired behavior with such a UID, and other
+         coreutils applications therefore do not support such a UID.
+         However, 'id' makes a special attempt to handle this UID, to
+         help people diagnose the problem.  */

Personally, I had to read the second instance of "etc." three times before being sure I had inferred the correct semantics of the dot (while I had no problem with the first instance). This probably stems from stricter punctuation rules in my native language when compared with English, but I figure this simple change might help another or two speakers of English as a second language while harming no one.

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