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Re: [PATCH] printf: add %#s alias to %b

From: Chet Ramey
Subject: Re: [PATCH] printf: add %#s alias to %b
Date: Wed, 6 Sep 2023 14:20:42 -0400
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10.15; rv:102.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/102.14.0

On 9/6/23 12:03 PM, Eric Blake wrote:

The austin group has decided what they'd like to do, and what they'd like
implementors to do. The question is whether or not people go along with it.

The Austin Group decided merely:

If we do nothing now for Issue 8, then Issue 9 WILL have a conflict
between printf(1) and printf(3).  If we reach out to all developers
now, we can start the discussion, and then by the time Issue 9 comes
around (several years from now), we may have enough consensus to do
any number of things:

They may have, but they kept it to themselves. According to Geoff Clare,
the group didn't go beyond various ways to deprecate %b:

"I think everyone in the teleconference just assumed that the inconsistency
is best avoided.  I don't recall living with it being discussed as an

You introduced the topic as if deprecation/repurposing had already been

"Thus, it appears that both %#s and %'s are available for use for
future standardization.  Typing-wise, %#s as a synonym for %b is
probably going to be easier (less shell escaping needed).  Is there
any interest in a patch to coreutils or bash that would add such a
synonym, to make it easier to leave that functionality in place for
POSIX Issue 9 even when %b is repurposed to align with C2x?"

So that group decided, at least initially, to deprecate %b immediately
and repurpose it in issue 9. They hoped that printf(1) implementors
would go along with it.

Now, maybe that group is reconsidering, since they are aware of other
points of view. There are indeed other options.

``The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne.'' - Chaucer
                 ``Ars longa, vita brevis'' - Hippocrates
Chet Ramey, UTech, CWRU

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