Interpretations

Answering questions that may arise related to the meaning of portions of an IEEE standard concerning specific applications.

IEEE Standards Interpretations for IEEE Std 1003.2™-1992 IEEE Standard for Information Technology--Portable Operating System Interfaces (POSIX®)--Part 2: Shell and Utilities

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Interpretation Request #92
Topic: ar Relevant Clauses: 6.1.1.6

It is unclear what the exact behaviour is when a file is added to an archive and only the -r option is specified in the ar utility. First, subclause 6.1.3, lines 55-57, page 662 states: -v Give verbose output. When used with the option characters -d, -r, or -x, write a detailed file-by-file description of the archive creation and maintenance activity, as described in 6.1.6.1. This seems to imply that when using the -x, -d and -r options, that the verbose output is displayed only when -v is also specified. This implication seems to be true since all the descriptions in subclause 6.1.6.1 specify the use the "-v" option except for one, on line 118, which states: If file is being added to the archive with the -r option, the standare output format shall be ... It seems odd that line 118 should be the only description in all of subclause 6.1.6.1 that does not specify the -v option. Its unclear if the wording on line 114, which does specify the -v option, should be continued to be used on line 118. Further, except for line 118, subclause 6.1.6.1 has consistently described historical behaviour. I would like an interpretation stating that the format specified on line 120 is only required when -r and -v are both specified.

Interpretation Response
The standard is unclear on this issue, and no conformance distinction can be made between alternative implementations based on this. This is being referred to the sponsor.

Rationale for Interpretation
None.