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Re: Official Linux system wrapper library?
- From: Paul Eggert <eggert at cs dot ucla dot edu>
- To: Joseph Myers <joseph at codesourcery dot com>, Andy Lutomirski <luto at amacapital dot net>
- Cc: Szabolcs Nagy <Szabolcs dot Nagy at arm dot com>, Dave P Martin <Dave dot Martin at arm dot com>, Daniel Colascione <dancol at google dot com>, nd <nd at arm dot com>, Florian Weimer <fweimer at redhat dot com>, "Michael Kerrisk (man-pages)" <mtk dot manpages at gmail dot com>, linux-kernel <linux-kernel at vger dot kernel dot org>, Joel Fernandes <joelaf at google dot com>, Linux API <linux-api at vger dot kernel dot org>, Willy Tarreau <w at 1wt dot eu>, Vlastimil Babka <vbabka at suse dot cz>, Carlos O'Donell <carlos at redhat dot com>, "libc-alpha at sourceware dot org" <libc-alpha at sourceware dot org>
- Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2018 10:13:08 -0800
- Subject: Re: Official Linux system wrapper library?
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On 11/14/18 9:40 AM, Joseph Myers wrote:
Historically, there was once an attempt to rework POSIX into a separate
language-independent definition and language bindings (for C, Fortran, Ada
etc.), but I don't think it got anywhere, and it's probably doubtful
whether the idea was ever very practical.
That effort did produce IEEE Std 1003.5-1992 (Ada Bindings to IEEE Std
1003.1-1990), IEEE 1003.5b-1996 (Ada bindings for realtime extensions),
and IEEE Std 1003.9-1992 (F77 Bindings to IEEE Std 1003.1-1992). The Ada
group simply translated the POSIX standard from C into Ada, repeating
functional text and coming up with a "thick" standard; in contrast the
Fortran group did a "thin" standard that focused on Fortran mechanics
and deferred underlying functionality to the main POSIX standard. The
thin Fortran standard was harder to grok and was less successful in
As you write, these efforts were probably not worth the trouble. Non-C
language systems can provide a standard way to invoke C APIs, and then
let user-level programmers have at it. The performance advantage of
having a pure Ada/Fortran/etc. API for POSIX are so minor that it's not
worth the major hassle of standardizing and using a language-independent