WG15 N___

Jan. 12, 1998

- submitted by: Roger Martin

Report of the WG15 Ad Hoc Meeting


"The Future of POSIX"

The WG15 authorized Ad hoc meeting to discuss the "Future of POSIX" met in conjunction with the January meeting of the IEEE/PASC. The ad hoc meeting was held Sun-Mon, Jan 10-11, 1998 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Four member bodies were represented at this meeting (UK, Denmark, Canada, and U.S.). It was agreed at the beginning of the meeting to welcome any interested PASC experts to participate in the discussions. PASC also welcomed the WG15 members to participate in its meetings on the subject. The meeting was chaired by Roger Martin who also volunteered to prepare the minutes.

There was a lengthy and wide-ranging discussion on several topics which were expected to be raised at the PASC/SEC meeting. Based on these discussions and participation in two other PASC ad hoc meetings, the WG15 ad hoc developed four recommendations which were provided to the PASC/SEC for consideration at its meeting:

Recommendation 1 - With Respect to "Breaking" Existing POSIX Standards

The WG15 Ad Hoc supports the proposal that PASC establish the principle that new POSIX standards must not "break" existing POSIX base standards.

Recommendation 2 - With Respect to "Stabilizing" POSIX.1 and POSIX.2

With respect to the proposed PASC resolution to stabilize POSIX.1 and POSIX.2 base standards, the WG15 ad hoc makes two recommendations:

Note: The intention is to establish a controlled, "step-wise" REVISION process rather than the current "rolling" AMENDMENT process.

Recommendation 3 - POSIX Version Profiles

The WG15 ad hoc supports and recommends the production of International Standard POSIX Profiles to specify functionality, to mandate options, and to describe behavior at specifics points in time.

Recommendation 4 - With Respect to Transferring POSIX Standards to The Open Group

With respect to the proposed PASC recommendation to evaluate the feasibility of transferring POSIX.1 and POSIX.2 to The Open Group and then, if feasible, to develop a schedule to do so, the WG15 ad hoc was unable to reach a clear consensus. However, the WG15 ad hoc does recommend that WG15, IEEE/PASC, and The Open Group actively work together to find ways to "have all the experts in one room" (e.g. joint meetings). The ad hoc further recommends that the WG15 convener immediately initiate a WG15 discussion of this proposal via the WG15 e-mail reflector.


IEEE/PASC/SEC approved the following resolutions at its January 15, 1998 meeting. It should be noted that all of the recommendations were incorporated in some form into the final Resolutions passed by the PASC/SEC.

RES 9801-01 Withdrawal of P1003.1e and P1003.2c (Security)

PASC/SEC hereby withdraws sponsorship of the following PARs:

P1003.1e (Security APIs)

P1003.2c (Security Command and Utilities)

RES 9801- 02 Backwards Compatibility

Whereas, PASC/SEC wishes to publicly establish a commitment to preserving backwards compatibility in its amendments, and

Whereas, groundwork must be laid to permit future extensions to the POSIX base standards which do not break backwards compatibility, and

Whereas, the vehicles for laying that groundwork are the P1003.1a and P1003.2b amendments, and

Whereas, material must be moved between the current IEEE Std 1003.1 and IEEE Std 1003.2,

Therefore, PASC/SEC hereby requires all PASC/SEC sponsored project PARs which amend IEEE Std 1003.1 or IEEE Std 1003.2, except P1003.1a and P1003.2b, to contain the following statement in their scope:

"This standard will not change the base standard which it amends (including any existing amendments) in such a way as to cause implementations or strictly conforming applications to no longer conform." and

PASC/SEC recognizes that exceptions to this rule may be authorized for resolution of interpretations and technical corrigenda, and

PASC/SEC directs all of its working group chairs of currently sponsored projects which amend either IEEE Std 1003.1-1990 or IEEE Std 1003.2-1992 to prepare revised PARs, which include the required statement. These PAR revisions must be submitted to the PASC/SEC no later than May 31, 1998, and

PASC/SEC directs the PASC/PMC to add this backwards compatibility requirement to the PASC PAR Evaluation Criteria, and

This resolution shall expire January 31, 1999 (if not re-affirmed by a vote of PASC/SEC at the January, 1999 meeting).

RES 9801-03 Core POSIX Stabilization

Whereas the following amendments to IEEE Std 1003.1-1990 have been approved by the IEEE:

1003.1b-1993 (Realtime Extensions)

1003.1c-1995 (Threads)

1003.1i-1995 (technical corrigendum to .1b)

1003.1n-1995 (technical corrigendum to .1,.1b,.1i,.1c) (in progress), and

Whereas, the following amendments to IEEE Std 1003.2-1992 have been approved by the IEEE:

1003.2a-1992 (User Portability Extensions)

1003.2d-1994 (Batch extensions)

Therefore, PASC/SEC resolves that the following existing projects may be completed as amendments to IEEE Std 1003.1-1990 and IEEE Std 1003.2-1992 and that they must be approved by the IEEE Standards Board no later than Dec 31, 1999:

1003.1a (System Interface Extensions),

1003.1d (Additional Realtime Extensions),

1003.1g (Protocol Independent Interfaces)

1003.1h (SRASS),

1003.1j (Advanced Realtime Extensions),

1003.1m (Checkpoint/Restart),

1003.1q (Trace)

1003.2b (Additional Utilities), and

Therefore, PASC/SEC resolves that no other amendments to the POSIX base standards (IEEE Std 1003.1 and IEEE Std 1003.2) shall be sponsored by PASC except to correct defects or problems identified through the IEEE or ISO interpretations mechanisms or means for identifying defects, and

Therefore, PASC/SEC requests PASC/SSWG and PASC/SUWG to consider PASC sponsored standards for inclusion in future revisions of 1003.1 and 1003.2.

RESOLUTION 9801-04 Coordination Ad Hoc

PASC/SEC authorizes the formation of an ad hoc group to work with The Open Group and WG15 to develop ways to coordinate the common development of POSIX standards. The ad hoc shall be chaired by Roger Martin. The ad hoc shall submit it's initial report to the PASC/SEC no later than the April 1998 meeting of PASC, and its final report no later than the July 1998 PASC meeting.

RESOLUTION 9801-05 POSIX Version Profiles

PASC/SEC authorizes the creation of a study group to investigate the development of International Standard POSIX Profiles to specify functionality, to mandate options, and to describe behavior for specific versions of approved PASC sponsored standards. Nick Stoughton to serve as study group chair. The study group is directed to submit its report to PASC/SEC no later than the October, 1998 PASC meeting. It should be noted that PASC/SEC includes AEPs such as 1003.13 in the scope of this study group.

RESOLUTION 9801-06 Inclusion of current .1 and .2 "amendment" projects in a revision of IEEE Std 1003.1 and 1003.2

Whereas the following draft standards have been developed as amendments to IEEE Std 1003.1-1990: 1003.1a (System Interface Extensions),

1003.1d (Additional Realtime Extensions),

1003.1g (Protocol Independent Interfaces)

1003.1h (SRASS),

1003.1j (Advanced Realtime Extensions),

1003.1m (Checkpoint/Restart),

1003.1q (Trace), and

Whereas the following draft standard has been developed as an amendment to IEEE Std 1003.2-1992: 1003.2b (Additional Shell & Utilities), and

Whereas PASC/SEC does not wish to abandon that work should one or more of these projects hit the December 31, 1999 "time-out" date adopted in Resolution 9801-03 (Core POSIX Stabilization),

Therefore PASC/SEC resolves that the work from any of these "timed-out" projects must be considered for inclusion in the next revision of IEEE Std 1003.1or IEEE Std 1003.2, as appropriate, for which the completed material is available.

RESOLUTION 9801-07 The "POSIX" Name

Whereas, the name "POSIX" is well recognized as having significant mind share and value, and

Whereas, a wide variety of standards developed within PASC contain material which is tied to the concept of "POSIX",

Therefore, PASC/SEC reaffirms that the use of the word "POSIX" in standards it sponsors is not reserved solely for use by projects which amend or revise IEEE Stds.1003.1 and 1003.2.