Interpretations

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

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

Copyright © 1996 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. 3 Park Avenue New York, New York 10016-5997 USA All Rights Reserved.

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Interpretation Request #100
Topic: make Relevant Clauses: 6.2.7.2

The description on POSIX.2 P671, L361-363: When an escaped ‹newline› (one preceded by a backslash) is found anywhere in the makefile, it shall be replaced, along with any leading white space on the following line, with a single ‹space›. should not apply to command lines in makefiles.

It seems that historic practice is something more like: When an escaped ‹newline› (one preceded by a backslash) is found anywhere in the makefile except in a command line, it shall be replaced, along with any leading white space on the following line, with a single ‹space›.

When an escaped ‹newline› is found in a command line in a makefile, the command line passed to the command interpreter (see below) shall contain the backslash, the ‹newline›, and the next line, except the first character of the next line will not be given to the command interpreter if it is a ‹tab›. Note that the behavior of \‹newline› on command lines depends on quoting. Quoting is handled by the shell, not by make. Was this change intentional?

Interpretation Response #100
The standard states the behavior for escaped ‹newline›, and conforming implementations must conform to this. However, concerns have been raised about this which are being referred to the sponsor.

Rationale for Interpretation
None.