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From: j...@ut-sally.UUCP (John Quarterman)
Newsgroups: mod.std.unix
Subject: P1003 questions and answers
Message-ID: <2234@ut-sally.UUCP>
Date: Mon, 1-Jul-85 18:27:43 EDT
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Posted: Mon Jul  1 18:27:43 1985
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From: John Quarterman (moderator) <ut-sally!std-unix>

Before the Portland USENIX Conference, or, more specifically, before
the P1003 "UNIX Standards" committee meeting which was held on the
three days before that USENIX, I solicited comments and questions about
the P1003 standard on several newsgroups on USENET.  Here are most of
the questions and my interpretation of how they relate to what the
committee is doing.  Be aware that my interpretation may not correspond
to reality, and is certainly not an official statement by the committee.

Is the P1003 draft standard compatible with the X3J11 C draft standard?

	This was one of the main things discussed at the meeting.
	The P1003 committee is very concerned about compatibility
	with X3J11, to the point of replacing large sections of
	the P1003 draft standard with references to the X3J11 standard.
	There are places where it's not that simple, though, such as
	kill(2), because the C standard needs to define a small set
	of functions, while the P1003 standard needs to define others.
	A committee was appointed to communicate with X3J11.

	Someone asked specifically if <limits.h> would be compatible,
	and the intention of the committee is that it will be.

	Someone else asked if signal(2) were defined properly using void.
	At the moment, it's not.  I don't know if it will be later.

Database issues.

	File locking was referred to a /usr/group subcommittee,
	which solicited members at a USENIX BOF.  This was because
	the P1003 members are mostly not database experts, and
	felt that problems with lockf could not be resolved by them
	in a reasonable amount of time.  The committee did remove
	the enforcement mode of lockf from the body of the draft
	to an appendix.

	The 4.2BSD truncate system call is not in the draft standard,
	and thus far no one has proposed that it should be.  Though
	its utility is clear, there seems to be a strong reluctance
	to add new facilities.

Are the 4.2BSD directory routines (opendir, readdir, closedir) included?

	They were recently added, in an appendix.

	Someone asked if the conflicts involving <sys/ndir.h> having
	the same name but different functions on 4.2BSD and other
	systems had been resolved.  The corresponding header file
	is <dirent.h> in the draft standard.

Have windowing, graphics, or network standards been addressed?

	The committee takes pains to avoid precluding network
	implementations of things such as file systems, but
	does not directly address windowing, graphics, or networks.
	There are /usr/group subcommittees on those subjects, however.

	If someone more knowledgeable would post something on the
	/usr/group committees, I would appreciate it.

John Quarterman, j...@ut-sally.ARPA, {ihnp4,seismo,ctvax}!ut-sally!jsq

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