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Re: Coreutils head and tail problems

Joe Buck <> writes:

> On Tue, Aug 26, 2003 at 08:58:13AM -0700, Zack Weinberg wrote:
>> These are deliberate and will not change.  GCC has to maintain
>> backward compatibility with platforms which do not support head -n1,
>> tail -n1, etc ... the issues you have found are merely the tip of the
>> iceberg.
> I agree that the fact that the coreutils people broke gcc builds was a
> mistake; even if we decide to change, we can't retroactively fix gcc
> builds that we have already released.  But which systems don't support
> head -n1 and tail -n1?  I've scouted about 8 OS flavors I have access to
> (Solaris, HP-UX, SGI-MIPS, Alpha OSF, FreeBSD, Linux, AIX) and they all
> handle it.  SunOS4, perhaps?

My recollection was that at least some still-supported versions of
HP-UX did not support this.  I'll drop my objection to change if
someone audits every supported host architecture (and "X, Y, Z don't
support it but they were EOLed in 1992 so why are we still supporting
them anyway?" would be an acceptable outcome in my book).

Note also that a lot of the examples found by Andrew are from
autoconf-generated code, which has to be *more* portable than
gcc itself.


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