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Re: cmp missing from base

Am 07.05.2016 um 03:41 schrieb Warren Young:
On May 6, 2016, at 3:53 AM, Thomas Wolff <> wrote:
after a recent fresh installation of cygwin, I was surprised that `cmp` was missing, which is part of the traditional Unix base commands.
I think the diffutils package should be part of the base installation.
Weâve never really had a hard rule on what is in Base and what isnât.  Itâs always been a judgement call.

I wonder if the rule should just be âPOSIXâ?  That is, if itâs on this page, it should be in Base:

That would exclude other things weâve always excluded, such as Perl.

Iâm not suggesting that we make this rule a strict one.  Most importantly, it cannot be an exclusion rule: Cygwin must contain things not in POSIX.  Iâm just suggesting that it would be nice if Cygwin were as close to POSIX as practical out-of-the-box.

By that latter, I mean without extra effort other than adjusting some setup.hint files.  I mean, if there is a command on that list that doesnât even have a Cygwin package, I donât mean to propose with this rule that someone must go out and package it just to satisfy POSIX.

As a counterexample, that list contains pax(1), which is currently in Archive, not Base, so by that rule, pax(1) should also move to Base.

By that very example, though, I can argue against this proposed rule: as I understand it, pax(1) was added to POSIX at the same time they dropped cpio(1) and tar(1), thinking that by doing so, theyâd change existing practice, moving everyone over to pax(1).  That just created a Standard in the XKCD sense:
Thanks, Warren, for some metaphysical insights :)
Right, there isn't and shouldn't be a strict rule. But maybe there can be a guideline, and more a guideline of common practice than of a 15th standard. By decade-long practice as a Unix user, I was simply expecting cmp to be basic, like I would expect tar. Maybe others would agree with that, or maybe not...

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