Re: current draft of POSIX 1003.2B file

Greg Roelofs (
Tue, 22 Oct 1996 09:54:51 -0500 (CDT)

>I would like to collect any comments and relay them to the POSIX
>standards group. Since we can't expect another revision of POSIX.2
>for a while, we should really push POSIX to get it right this time.

My comments are pretty much restricted to the magic file, so this message
goes back out to both lists. Aside from the older comments Dan collected
and posted yesterday, the only missing item I noticed was a comment on the
identification of "byte" with "signed character"; this seems counter-
intuitive to me (i.e., it should be unsigned). Not a big deal, though.

In terms of updating Dan's old comments, it might also be useful to offer
a shorthand version of the endian prefixes (they should probably be suffixes

dS -> dSb
dL -> dLb
d4 -> d4l

Also note the part about an optional integer to indicate the length of the
type; this renders Dan's old comment about non-portability at least partially
moot (although it will require retrofitting such support both to Darwin file
and to its magic data, and it would be *nice* if the older types could be
identified with a fixed size to avoid breaking portability with most older
implementations--that won't help Crays or Alphas, though). The new POSIX
draft doesn't specify whether the integer suffix can be used with the other
suffixes (e.g., C, S, I, L are redundant, and note the possibilities/compli-
cations for dealing with wide characters; also, how does the integer value
affect the interpretation of the floating-point suffixes?). That should be
clarified. (Did it say anything about floating-point numbers being in IEEE
format? I didn't notice.)

That's all that came to mind offhand. The endianness issue is the critical
one, of course.