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Aardvark Mark III


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ID Category Severity Type Date Submitted Last Update
0001221 [1003.1(2016)/Issue7+TC2] Shell and Utilities Objection Omission 2018-12-22 21:02 2019-02-23 14:05
Reporter Don Cragun View Status public  
Assigned To
Priority normal Resolution Withdrawn  
Status Closed  
Name Donald Cragun
Organization
User Reference
Section echo
Page Number 2674
Line Number 87116-87117
Interp Status ---
Final Accepted Text
Summary 0001221: The DESCRIPTION omits requiring echo to separate arguments with <space>s when writing them.
Description The current DESCRIPTION section for the echo utility is:
The echo utility writes its arguments to standard output, followed by a <newline>. If there are
no arguments, only the <newline> is written.

That requires that the command:
<tt>echo a b c</tt>

produce the output:
<tt>abc</tt>

All implementations of echo that I have ever used put a single <space> character between arguments when they are written to standard output such that the output produced is:
<tt>a b c</tt>

The only time when <space>s isn't historically added is after <tt>"\c"</tt> has been seen in an argument on XSI-conforming systems (or after a non-conforming option indicates that the XSI <backslash> escapes are to be processed).
Desired Action Change the first sentence of the DESCRIPTION section to be:
The echo utility writes its arguments, separated by a <space> character, followed by a <newline> character to standard output.
Tags No tags attached.
Attached Files

- Relationships

-  Notes
(0004190)
schwarze (reporter)
2018-12-22 21:21

To support this proposal, i'd like to mention that this has already been documented in many operating systems for decades. I don't know why POSIX does not mention the blanks. I agree it probably should.

Here are some examples of real-world manuals already documenting the blanks:

https://man.openbsd.org/UNIX-7/echo.1 [^]
https://man.openbsd.org/4.4BSD-Lite2/echo.1 [^]
https://man.openbsd.org/OpenBSD-current/echo.1 [^]
https://man.openbsd.org/FreeBSD-11.1/man1/echo.1 [^]
https://man.openbsd.org/NetBSD-7.1/echo.1 [^]
https://man.openbsd.org/ksh.1#echo_2 [^]
https://man.openbsd.org/csh.1#echo [^]
(0004191)
shware_systems (reporter)
2018-12-22 22:37

The DESCRIPTION may omit it, but it is explicitly a normative requirement in the STDOUT section so this would be duplication. It may be better to shorten it to say:
    The echo utility writes its arguments to standard output. [xref See STDOUT]
(0004192)
kre (reporter)
2018-12-22 23:25

I see no need for any change, as Mark says in note 4191, the
blank separator is already specified. What's more, I don't see
a need for a forward pointer from the description to the STDOUT
section - for all commands, the STDOUT part of the description
gives any formatting requirements for the output, that always needs
to be consulted.
(0004193)
shware_systems (reporter)
2018-12-23 16:47

Normally I wouldn't bother either, but the block of XSI escapes follows, and the Xref would skip people around that who are more interested in the base requirements only.

- Issue History
Date Modified Username Field Change
2018-12-22 21:02 Don Cragun New Issue
2018-12-22 21:02 Don Cragun Name => Donald Cragun
2018-12-22 21:02 Don Cragun Section => echo
2018-12-22 21:02 Don Cragun Page Number => 2674
2018-12-22 21:02 Don Cragun Line Number => 87116-87117
2018-12-22 21:02 Don Cragun Interp Status => ---
2018-12-22 21:21 schwarze Note Added: 0004190
2018-12-22 22:37 shware_systems Note Added: 0004191
2018-12-22 23:25 kre Note Added: 0004192
2018-12-23 16:47 shware_systems Note Added: 0004193
2019-02-23 14:05 Don Cragun Status New => Closed
2019-02-23 14:05 Don Cragun Resolution Open => Withdrawn


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