From: p...@hillside.co.uk (Peter Collinson)
Subject: Standards Update, 1003.0: POSIX Guide
Date: 5 Jun 91 20:55:34 GMT
Sender: use...@uunet.uu.net (UseNet News)
Organization: Hillside Systems, 61 Hillside Avenue, Canterbury, Kent CT2 8HA
Approved: s...@uunet.uu.net (Moderator, Sean Eric Fagan - comp.std.unix)
Submitted-by: p...@hillside.co.uk (Peter Collinson)
USENIX Standards Watchdog Committee
Stephen R. Walli < ste...@usenix.org>, Report Editor
Report on 1003.0: POSIX Guide
Kevin Lewis, < kle...@gucci.enet.dec.com> reports on the
April 15-19, 1991 meeting in Chicago, IL:
POSIX.0, more familiarly referred to as `the Guide' is best summed up
the first sentence of Draft 11. ``This guide identifies parameters for
an open system environment using the POSIX operating
system/application interface as the platform''.
The working group spent the week reviewing the document, addressing
omissions and readability issues. Careful attention was paid to the
guide's readiness for mock ballot (Oct. eventual submission to ISO as
a technical report.
Believe it or not, this group made its best forward progress by
reviewing the guide document backwards. I'm still trying to figure
out what this says about our group. [ed - And so are we all!] This
forced us to deal with issues that were latent because we simply had
not made it all the way to the end of the document before. On the
occasions we did, we were too exhausted to do anything substantive.
There were times during the review when I felt we were writing a very
succinct and precise ``ballad''. Other times we seemed to be writing
the sequel to ``War & Peace.'' Overall we made significant progress.
Many key issues were addressed in Chicago.
First was the errant and unintentional (I think) omission of the
balloting P1003.2 (Shell and Utilities) standard from the guide. Wendy
Rauch agreed to draft a write-up on how this standard fits into the
context of the guide for its next release.
Another issue was that of how to address character-based terminals in
the user interface section. Pertinent contributions are being written
for inclusion in the next draft.
The use of the guide as an ISO Technical Report was also discussed
this week. Factors affecting this are the guide's readiness and
whether or not this readiness coincides with an acceptable time frame
for ISO. There is a document synchronization plan between the IEEE
and ISO, which will allow POSIX documents to be published concurrently
as both ISO and IEEE standards. POSIX.0 plans to use a mock ballot as
a way to judge its readiness. The group agreed that this ballot could
not commence before the October '91 meeting. The group may, however,
submit the guide to ISO prior to the completion of the mock ballot.
As you might imagine, the decision to submit the guide to ISO is very
subjective and discussion of this will probably eat up considerable
time at the October meeting. (This reminds me. I better get Mr.
Isaak to provide me with a large gavel).
Lastly, POSIX.0 strongly focused its attention on the overall
readability of the guide in such a manner that I felt we were finally
able to see the proverbial ``forest for the trees.'' This will be the
primary focus in the July meeting, strongly coupled with a review of
those sections that should be either dropped (e.g. the graphics
section) or postponed (e.g. the languages section) until after the mock
ballot. (The languages section is likely to be postponed due to lack
of help and not because it is any less significant.)
In summary, POSIX.0 is on track, heading in the right direction, BUT
with some medium-to-high hurdles remaining.
Volume-Number: Volume 23, Number 96