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bug#9346: wc does not conform to POSIX (additional spaces)

From: Pádraig Brady
Subject: bug#9346: wc does not conform to POSIX (additional spaces)
Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2011 02:07:59 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:5.0) Gecko/20110707 Thunderbird/5.0

tags 9346 + notabug

On 08/23/2011 01:39 AM, Vincent Lefevre wrote:
> http://pubs.opengroup.org/onlinepubs/9699919799/utilities/wc.html
> says:
>     By default, the standard output shall contain an entry for each
>     input file of the form:
>     "%d %d %d %s\n", <newlines>, <words>, <bytes>, <file>
> But wc from GNU coreutils 8.12 adds spaces:
> $ echo | wc
>       1       0       1
> Setting POSIXLY_CORRECT=1 doesn't even have any effect here.

POSIX refers to the printf format above as a pseudo-printf format,
to contrast with the format used in SYS V of "%7d%7d%7d %s\n".
Notice the lack of spaces there, hence problems with big numbers.
So I take the POSIX printf format you referenced, just to ensure
at least 1 space is guaranteed between counts.
Also for any kind of portability, one will need to deal with
a variable number of spaces.
GNU wc uses a dynamic width (try it on a small file),
while also ensuring at least 1 space is present.


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