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Re: Message string vs Coding Standards

From: Eric Blake
Subject: Re: Message string vs Coding Standards
Date: Wed, 01 Dec 2010 10:22:48 -0700
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On 12/01/2010 09:53 AM, John Darrington wrote:
> This line in lib/siglist.h:
>   init_sig (SIGILL, "ILL", N_("Illegal instruction"))
> contradicts the GNU Coding Standards which says:
>   `Please do not use the term "illegal" to refer to erroneous input to a
>    computer program. Please use "invalid" for this, and reserve the term
>    "illegal" for activities prohibited by law.'

That's the historical name for SIGILL, and that string is still heavily
used in most modern platforms.  For example, on GNU/Linux, 'man 7
signal' includes this line:

       SIGILL        4       Core    Illegal Instruction

and glibc/sysdeps/generic/siglist.h matches that spelling.

But I suppose a name like "Ill-formed instruction" would be equally
coherent without violating the GNU Coding Standards, although it would
only affect platforms that don't natively provide SIGILL (is that just
mingw?), even if it would take more effort to convince the glibc folks
to also adjust their naming in strsignal()/psignal().

Eric Blake   address@hidden    +1-801-349-2682
Libvirt virtualization library http://libvirt.org

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