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Re: [Bug-zile] OT: gnulib vs libposix [Was Re: Incremental search is dog

From: Reuben Thomas
Subject: Re: [Bug-zile] OT: gnulib vs libposix [Was Re: Incremental search is dog slow in moderately-sized files]
Date: Sun, 19 Jan 2014 17:23:10 +0000

On 19 January 2014 09:05, Gary V. Vaughan <address@hidden> wrote:

In a perfect world, teaching people to stick to the POSIX apis if humanly possibly would be better for general portability of GNU software though.

I agree, but not in the way you mean, I suspect: I think in terms of "compatibility surfaces", so for example writing in Lua just means you need a C compiler; therefore, adding Lua to a C program doesn't change its compatibility surface (hence, I was happy to rewrite Zile, intended to be thoroughly portable, in Lua).

Hence, the nice thing about gnulib is that you get lots of extended APIs without changing the compatibility surface, so I'd encourage people to use the whole thing. One practical example: set_binary_mode allowed me to make psutils source-compatible (without #ifdefs) across Windows and UNIX, while still working as expected for "binary" files on Windows.

The great thing about gnulib is precisely that it keeps one a few years ahead of vendor libc (a little less if you have a regularly-updated glibc-based distro), maybe a decade ahead of POSIX, and much more compatible with Windows (may it die a quick and painless death).


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