IEEE Standards Interpretation for IEEE Std 1003.1™-1990 IEEE Standard for Information Technology--Portable Operating System Interfaces (POSIX®)
Copyright © 2001 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. 3 Park Avenue New York, New York 10016-5997 USA All Rights Reserved.
Interpretations are issued to explain and clarify the intent of a standard and do not constitute an alteration to the original standard. In addition, interpretations are not intended to supply consulting information. Permission is hereby granted to download and print one copy of this document. Individuals seeking permission to reproduce and/or distribute this document in its entirety or portions of this document must contact the IEEE Standards Department for the appropriate license. Use of the information contained in this document is at your own risk.
IEEE Standards Department Copyrights and Permissions 445 Hoes Lane, Piscataway, New Jersey 08855-1331, USA
Interpretation Request #10
Topic: colon in filenames Relevant Sections: 188.8.131.52, 184.108.40.206, 220.127.116.11, 2.6 Classification: editorial defect
In 18.104.22.168 filename, page 14, lines 179-180:
"The characters composing the name may be selected from the set of all character values excluding the slash character and the null character."
In 22.214.171.124 pathname, page 17, lines 268-269:
"It has an optional beginning slash, followed by zero or more filenames separated by slashes."
In 126.96.36.199 path prefix, page 17, lines 264-265:
"A pathname, with an optional ending slash, that refers to a directory."
In 2.6 Environment Description [PATH], page 28, lines 730-731:
"The prefixes are separated by a colon (:)."
If the PATH environment variable contains a path prefix that includes a filename that includes a colon, shall conforming implementations treat this colon as part of the filename, or as a path prefix separator, or is either behavior acceptable? Are conforming applications prohibited from setting a value of the PATH environment variable that includes a colon as part of a path prefix?
Implementations shall interpret all colons in the PATH environment variable as separators. Conforming applications must therefore avoid using colons in pathnames which may be included in the PATH environment variable.
Rationale for Interpretation
The definition of "separated" on page 28 line 731 accords with normal computing practice, which accepts that separator characters cannot be embedded within the separated fields.