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Date: Fri, 6 Jan 2012 17:38:37 -0800
From: Isaac Dunham <>
Subject: Re: compatability: heirloom-utils +.5, libarchive -1

All right, I didn't make stuff clear enough the first time:

Rich Felker <> wrote:
> > But I figure it beats Busybox any day--and I'd rather not use GNU
> > bloat.
> I'm not sure what you're talking about. Busybox does not contain GNU
> code and hardly has any bloat aside from the source-level bloat

I'd rather avoid both of the two extremes: Busybox minimalism to
the point of lost functionality--for example, cpio only implements -H
newc, where there are around 4 possible formats; and GNU, with so much
bloat that it supports remote files.
In other words, I want something that beats Busybox (which heirloom
does), and I don't want to get that by using GNU bloat.

> > I'd rather use mksh/ksh93, but if you want a POSIX shell, the Bourne
> > shell beats dash on standards-conformance (after all, it *is* the
> > standard). mksh (when invoked as sh) is almost pure POSIX.

> I'm not sure what conformance issues you claim busybox's ash has,

I'm not saying ash has conformance issues: I'm responding to the remark
about dash (which is intended to be pretty much pure POSIX, though it
does have a few minor differences) not building with heirloom, on the
assumption that some (POSIX-conformant) alternative to ash is desired.
FWIW: dash and ash have the same base: NetBSD's Almquist shell.

> My understanding is that except in a few specific areas, the bb utils
> are intended to conform to SUSv4.
Last I knew, they stated that they considered the standards a
guideline, and explicitly stated that POSIX and GNU options would be
implemented if they were needed for scripts, while rarely-used options
would not be implemented.
The shells (ash & hush) aim for POSIX conformance + some bash
compatability, though.

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