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Re: [libc-alpha] Re: Wish for 2002 ...

On 13 Jan 2002, Shawn Starr wrote:
> > You are confusing Unix with some kind of ideology, or ``happy family''
> > or something. Get over your stupid nostalgic emotions and start thinking
> > rationally.
> No, I'm concentrating on API functionality. Get off the 'zelotishness'. 
> You seem to concentrate on keeping the glibc library wrapped in politics
> and forget about the COMMON USERS who write programs in C. 

Don't you realize that it is political to stand on a soapbox and
pretend to speak on behalf of a mass of common users? Where is the 
demographic data to back up any of these claims?  If you don't have it,
at least have the courage to speak for yourself only and say that you
want some functions in the library for your own personal satisfaction,
and not out of any genuine concern for anyone else.

Peple who write programs in C are not ``common users''. The GNU C
library has lots of users who don't write programs in C, or in anything.
They need to depend on this library to be stable and upgradable.

I do know know a little bit about how naive programmers write in C,
from years of answering questions in comp.lang.c. I can't recall the
last time strlcpy or strlcat have come up in any questions, or appeared
in anyone's program.

An all-time Google search over comp.lang.c for strlcpy or strlcat reveals
a grand total of seven articles (not counting followups to these which
quote the metion).  They were all posted within the past two years, and
all of these articles were written by expert programmers, who mention
the functions in passing or recommend them. Four of these seven were
written by a regular named Tor Rustad who appears to advocate their use
(specifically, borrowing the implemenations from OpenBSD, not blindly
assuming that they are just available!)

Also consider this: an all-time search for strlcpy or strlcat in the
newsgroup comp.os.linux.development.apps reveals but one article!
The article is not about strlcpy. The author quoted quoted the
setproctitle() function from sendmail in response to someone's question,
and that function happens to use strlcpy().
There is not one shred of discussion about the function itself.

If there was a significant demand for these functions by common
programmers, don't you think that it would have manifested itself in at
least a few questions on Usenet?

Okay, let's widen the search to any newsgroups that contain .linux. 
or .gnu.  as a component in their name. Alas, at last, here is someone
asking in comp.os.linux.misc. But when we look at the article, it comes
to light that it's some severely confused individual who apparently
thinks that C library functions are shell commands. See Message ID

Again, no actual discussion of the functions to be found, just mentions
of these identifiers in make outputs, snippets of code and the like.

So where is this mythical mass of programmers who are clamoring for
strlcpy and strlcat on GNU Linux?

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