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Re: 'tar' in the GNU Coding Standards

From: Dr. David Kirkby
Subject: Re: 'tar' in the GNU Coding Standards
Date: Sun, 25 Oct 2009 08:49:09 +0000
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20090218)

Karl Berry wrote:
Hi David,

Thanks for writing.

    I believe 'tar' should removed from that list, but allow someone to
    select a variable for 'tar'.

In typical Makefiles tar is already a variable, as are others in that
list.  I'm not sure that we need to standardize the variable names for
them ...

Ralf, wdyt?


The piece above this says:

"The configure script and the Makefile rules for building and installation should not use any utilities directly except these: "

so this is not only Makefiles, but configure scripts too.

I've seen several makefiles and scripts over the years where 'tar' is hard-coded in, which will cause problems in some cases.

It should also be noted that egrep is not required to be installed on any system conforming to POSIX 2004.


If the intension is to write portable programs, one can't rely on using the latest standards, but even the 2008 POSIX specification


does not require egrep. I learned that from reading the autoconf manual!

grep -E is supposed to support extended regular expressions (and GNU's grep does), though according to the autoconf manual, not all greps conform to POSIX and so therefore they do not all support grep -E.


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