IEEE Standards Interpretations for IEEE Std 1003.1™-2001 IEEE Standard for Information Technology - Portable Operating System Interface (POSIX®)
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Interpretation Request #17
Topic: locale -k (Rdvk finaltext/XCU ERN 1) Relevant Sections: XCU locale STDOUT
Clarification required PASC interpretation #146 for P1003.2-1992 identified an ambiguity in the description of the locale utility. No change was made in XCU6 related to this, so I assume the intention was to continue to allow either of the possible behaviours. It would be better if this is stated explicitly.
After "Compound keyword values (list entries) shall be separated in the output by semicolons." insert "For non-numeric values it is unspecified whether the output contains quoted strings separated by semicolons, or semicolon-separated values within one quoted string."
The standard states that the current requirements and conforming implementations must conform to this. However, concerns have been raised about this which are being referred to the sponsor.
Rationale for Interpretation
We disagreed with the conclusion given in PASC interpretation 1003.2-1992 #146, and believe that the standard is clear. However since existing practice is divided we would recommend that the following notes to the editor be considered for a future revision