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Re: Coreutils POSIX changes not documented in release notes

On Thu, 2006-03-09 at 08:25 -0500, Bill Rugolsky Jr. wrote:
> On Thu, Mar 09, 2006 at 06:42:17PM +0530, Rahul Sundaram wrote:
> > >You can disagree all you want, but this is a change from FC4 to FC5:
> > >
> > >fc4% sort +2 < /var/log/messages | head -1
> > >Mar  7 00:27:35 ti63 smartd[2187]: Device: /dev/sda, Temperature changed 
> > >-2 Celsius to 35 Celsius since last report
> > >
> > >rawhide% sort +2 < /var/log/messages | head -1
> > >sort: open failed: +2: No such file or directory
> > >
> > > 
> > >
> > This seems unrelated to the man page entry you quoted. Can you find more 
> > information on this and provide us the content?
> I don't mean to be an ass, but do you read before you mouth off?  Judging by
> the fedora-* list traffic, no.  Let's try again:

No need to be rude, Rahul wasn't.  He was matter of factly stating a
request, not questioning your intelligence.

>        1003.1-2001.  For example, if you have a newer system but are running
>        software that assumes an older version of POSIX and uses `sort +1' or
>        `tail +10', you can work around any compatibility problems by setting
>        `_POSIX2_VERSION=199209' in your environment.
> Sorry, I'm cranky.  Now I have to go put a wrapper around coreutils and
> log old-style arguments.
> Environment variable tests are completely broken.  That was already known
> in the 1970's ...  but I gave up on POSIX when I was a reviewer for the
> pthreads drafts ...

The change in this behavior in GNU sort(1) was noted when the POSIX
standard changed back in 2001 or so.  I believe there was a lot of talk
around that time about the new behavior.  It was known at that time that
scripts using the [soon to be] deprecated "sort +N" behavior would
[eventually] need to change under GNU coreutils.  Looks like they
finally broke the compatibility to make the change complete, at least in
GNU sort(1).  Certainly we can note *that* in the release notes, and if
you're able to track down other specific breakages between FC4 and FC5,
those would be good candidates for relnotes as well.  Thanks for your

Paul W. Frields, RHCE                          http://paul.frields.org/
  gpg fingerprint: 3DA6 A0AC 6D58 FEC4 0233  5906 ACDB C937 BD11 3717
 Fedora Documentation Project: http://fedora.redhat.com/projects/docs/

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