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ID Category Severity Type Date Submitted Last Update
0000252 [1003.1(2008)/Issue 7] Shell and Utilities Objection Omission 2010-05-06 19:54 2024-06-11 08:53
Reporter eblake View Status public  
Assigned To ajosey
Priority normal Resolution Accepted As Marked  
Status Closed  
Name Eric Blake
Organization Red Hat
User Reference
Section dot
Page Number 2341
Line Number 74025
Interp Status Approved
Final Accepted Text Note: 0000422
Summary 0000252: dot should follow Utility Syntax Guidelines
Description The standard states in XCU 1.4 (line 71983) that "Standard utilities that do not accept options, but that do accept operands, shall recognize "−−" as a first argument to be discarded." However, it also states in XCU 2.14 (line 73830) that the special builtins are exempt unless stated otherwise:

"Some of the special built-ins are described as conforming to XBD Utility Syntax Guidelines. For those that are not, the requirement in Utility Description Defaults that "--" be recognized as a first argument to be discarded does not apply and a conforming application shall not use that argument."

This is okay for the bulk of the builtins. For example, break only takes one optional argument, but it is a positive integer, and never starts with -. And while some shells accept 'exit -- -1' as a synonym for 'exit 255', the standard already stated that an argument outside the range 0-255 is unspecified, so it does not matter whether exit does or does not support --. Likewise, eval can always be written with a quoted space prior to any other arguments, since that space will then be ignored.

But for the dot builtin, it is very difficult to write portable code that can source a file whose name begins with '-'. Many existing implementations already support '. -- "$file"', and making this support mandatory will ease the burden of being able to do a PATH search for an arbitrary file used for sourcing.
Desired Action At line 74031, add a new paragraph to the dot DESCRIPTION:

The dot special built-in shall support XBD Section 12.2 (on page 215).
Tags issue8
Attached Files

- Relationships
related to 0000163Closedajosey 1003.1(2008)/Issue 7 Problems in rationale of trap shell builtin 
related to 0001157Closed 1003.1(2016/18)/Issue7+TC2 major overhaul of exec special built-in 
related to 0000764Closedajosey 1003.1(2008)/Issue 7 Clarify the value of $0 with regards to the dot (.) command 
related to 0001373Closed 1003.1(2016/18)/Issue7+TC2 The '[' utility does not conform to syntax guidelines 1 and 2 
related to 0001440Closed 1003.1(2016/18)/Issue7+TC2 Calling `system("-some-tool")` fails (although it is a valid `sh` command) 

-  Notes
geoffclare (manager)
2010-05-07 11:39

The exec special built-in has the same problem.
msbrown (manager)
2010-05-27 16:30
edited on: 2010-05-28 13:20

The standard states that support for XBD Section 12.2 is not required, and conforming implementations must conform to this. However, concerns have been raised about this which are being referred to the sponsor.

See Description section.

Notes to the Editor (not part of this interpretation):
At line 74031, add a new paragraph to the dot DESCRIPTION:

The dot special built-in shall support XBD Section 12.2 (on page 215).

after line 74152, add

The exec special built-in shall support XBD Section 12.2 (on page 215).

ajosey (manager)
2010-07-30 09:28

Comments/objections on the proposed interpretation are due by 31 Aug 2010
eblake (manager)
2020-02-04 15:32

kre brought up the point that we introduced an internal inconsistency: the dot utility cannot comply with Guideline 1 or Guideline 2 of XBD Section 12.2 by virtue of its name. It may be worth a followup bug for a wording tweak to exempt those two guidelines. Similarly, the [ utility, as related to test, already documents that it is exempt from Guideline 10, but fails to document that it is exempt from Guidelines 1 and 2.
geoffclare (manager)
2020-02-04 16:36

Re: Note: 0004768 I have updated the applied changes so that dot now says "shall support XBD Section 12.2 (on page NNN), except for Guidelines 1 and 2". The change history entry is:
Austin Group Defect 252 is applied, adding a requirement for dot to support XBD Section 12.2 (except for Guidelines 1 and 2, since the utility's name is '.')
This seemed like an obvious and non-controversial editorial fix, so I did not see the need to reopen the bug.

A separate bug is needed to fix the related issue for '['.

- Issue History
Date Modified Username Field Change
2010-05-06 19:54 eblake New Issue
2010-05-06 19:54 eblake Status New => Under Review
2010-05-06 19:54 eblake Assigned To => ajosey
2010-05-06 19:54 eblake Name => Eric Blake
2010-05-06 19:54 eblake Organization => Red Hat
2010-05-06 19:54 eblake User Reference =>
2010-05-06 19:54 eblake Section => dot
2010-05-06 19:54 eblake Page Number => 2341
2010-05-06 19:54 eblake Line Number => 74025
2010-05-07 11:39 geoffclare Note Added: 0000418
2010-05-27 16:30 msbrown Note Added: 0000422
2010-05-27 16:30 msbrown Interp Status => Pending
2010-05-27 16:30 msbrown Final Accepted Text => Note: 0000422
2010-05-27 16:30 msbrown Status Under Review => Interpretation Required
2010-05-27 16:30 msbrown Resolution Open => Accepted As Marked
2010-05-28 13:20 ajosey Note Edited: 0000422
2010-07-30 09:28 ajosey Interp Status Pending => Proposed
2010-07-30 09:28 ajosey Note Added: 0000508
2010-09-03 06:21 ajosey Interp Status Proposed => Approved
2010-09-24 16:03 geoffclare Tag Attached: issue8
2013-10-10 19:51 eblake Relationship added related to 0000764
2016-02-23 21:36 eblake Relationship added related to 0000163
2019-01-10 17:26 eblake Relationship added related to 0001157
2020-01-31 14:55 geoffclare Status Interpretation Required => Applied
2020-02-04 15:32 eblake Note Added: 0004768
2020-02-04 16:36 geoffclare Note Added: 0004769
2020-07-14 09:01 geoffclare Relationship added related to 0001373
2021-11-04 15:17 eblake Relationship added related to 0001440
2024-06-11 08:53 agadmin Status Applied => Closed

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