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Aardvark Mark IV

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ID Category Severity Type Date Submitted Last Update
0000999 [1003.1(2013)/Issue7+TC1] Shell and Utilities Editorial Clarification Requested 2015-11-05 21:32 2024-06-11 09:02
Reporter steffen View Status public  
Assigned To
Priority normal Resolution Accepted  
Status Closed  
Name steffen
User Reference
Section Vol. 3, mailx
Page Number 2915
Line Number 96280 - 96281
Interp Status Approved
Final Accepted Text See Note: 0003301.
Summary 0000999: Forbid `Save' command in startup file
Description I don't understand why `Copy' is forbidden during startup but `Save' is not.

It is not documented but i think `copy' etc. are not forbidden because they don't (necessarily) require knowledge of message content (except message boundary detection), whereas the uppercase versions have content inspection as a precondition (to derive the target filename).

If this is indeed the reason, then `Save' (added in Issue 6) is missing from the list.
Desired Action Change the sentence on p. 2915 l. 96280 ff. from

  The following commands shall be invalid in the start-up file: !, edit, hold, mail, preserve, reply, Reply, shell, visual, Copy, followup, and Followup.


  The following commands shall be invalid in the start-up file: !, edit, hold, mail, preserve, reply, Reply, Save, shell, visual, Copy, followup, and Followup.
Tags tc3-2008
Attached Files

- Relationships

-  Notes
geoffclare (manager)
2015-11-06 11:03

Although Copy and Save were added to POSIX in 2001, they came in via SUS where they were UNIX extensions to POSIX. Before SUS they were in XPG, and XPG took them from SVID. And SVID2 (the earliest I have, 1986) forbade Copy in start-up files but not Save. I don't know why, but it's always been that way.
steffen (reporter)
2015-11-06 11:35

Ah, ok. So likely no technical reason but only tradition.

P.S., for the record: for BSD Mail the actual source code as of 2BSD (1979-04) forbids the following commands when "sourcing" (in cmdtab order)

        visual, mail, !, reply, respond, edit,
3BSD (1980-03) adds

        shell, Reply, Respond
Finally (i still miss the intermediates) mailx 8.1[.1] as of 1996-06-14 knows about `save' and `copy' but doesn't forbid them "when sourcing". Nor does it forbid `hold' / `preserve'. It doesn't know about sending follow up mails yet.
Don Cragun (manager)
2016-07-21 15:30
edited on: 2016-07-21 15:32

Interpretation response
The standard states that Save is processed during mail startup, and conforming implementations must conform to this. However, concerns have been raised about this which are being referred to the sponsor.

This is not the way historic implementations work.

Notes to the Editor (not part of this interpretation):
Make the changes suggested in the Desired Action.

ajosey (manager)
2016-12-15 18:11

Interpretation proposed: 15 Dec 2016
ajosey (manager)
2017-01-18 15:24

Interpretation Approved: 18 Jan 2017

- Issue History
Date Modified Username Field Change
2015-11-05 21:32 steffen New Issue
2015-11-05 21:32 steffen Name => steffen
2015-11-05 21:32 steffen Section => Vol. 3, mailx
2015-11-05 21:32 steffen Page Number => 2915
2015-11-05 21:32 steffen Line Number => 96280 - 96281
2015-11-06 11:03 geoffclare Note Added: 0002889
2015-11-06 11:35 steffen Note Added: 0002890
2016-07-21 15:30 Don Cragun Note Added: 0003301
2016-07-21 15:32 Don Cragun Note Edited: 0003301
2016-07-21 15:33 Don Cragun Interp Status => ---
2016-07-21 15:33 Don Cragun Final Accepted Text => See Note: 0003301.
2016-07-21 15:33 Don Cragun Status New => Interpretation Required
2016-07-21 15:33 Don Cragun Resolution Open => Accepted
2016-07-21 15:33 Don Cragun Tag Attached: tc3-2008
2016-07-21 15:34 Don Cragun Interp Status --- => Pending
2016-12-15 18:11 ajosey Interp Status Pending => Proposed
2016-12-15 18:11 ajosey Note Added: 0003521
2017-01-18 15:24 ajosey Interp Status Proposed => Approved
2017-01-18 15:24 ajosey Note Added: 0003549
2019-10-21 09:02 geoffclare Status Interpretation Required => Applied
2024-06-11 09:02 agadmin Status Applied => Closed

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