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What Is POSIX?

By Nick Stoughton

I think it is safe to say that POSIX is in a period of crisis. Falling attendance and little headway in ballot resolution has put off many of the vendors, and they no longer feel that this is an effort worth following. At the October meeting in Reno, the Sponsor Executive Committee (SEC), which governs the work of the IEEE Portable Applications Standards Committee (PASC), formed two ad hoc committees to examine options for the future, one considering the question "What is POSIX?" and the other looking at possible collaboration with The Open Group (TOG) for future work. Preliminary reports from both these committees are published in this column.

Whether PASC will survive is at best doubtful. Industry seems to be confused by the existence of two closely related organizations, PASC and TOG, and wants to follow only one. The dilution of the core standards by specialist areas does not help either. I have reported previously on the increase in the proportion of defense-related personnel at POSIX meetings and the building of MIL-SPECs by another name.

If we cannot adapt to our circumstances, we will surely die.


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First posted: 29th January 1998 efc
Last changed: 29th January 1998 efc
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