Austin Group Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ Version 1.25)

Last Updated : Oct 4 2013: freq.ques,v 1.25

This is the Frequently Asked Questions file for the Austin Common Standards Revision Group. Its maintainer is Andrew Josey (ajosey at The Open Group ). Suggestions and contributions are always welcome.

This document can be found on the world wide web at http://www.opengroup.org/austin/faq.html.

This article includes answers to the following.

Q0. What is the Austin Group?
Q1. Is there a description of the project describing the scope?
Q2. Where can I download the specifications from?
Q3. What are the restrictions on the draft?
Q4. Why should I get involved and how do I become a participant in the Austin Group?
Q5. Who else is participating in the Austin Group?
Q6. Are there minutes available from meetings of the group?
Q7. Are there procedures for the operation of the group?
Q8. Where is the schedule for draft development?
Q9. Are there meetings? Can any one attend?
Q10. How can I find out where the next meeting is ?
Q11. What is aardvark (and also what is Mantis?)?
Q12. How can I submit a comment against the specifications?
Q13. I filed an aardvark but did not see a copy on the mailing list. Problem?
Q14. Does this project have an IEEE Project number ?
Q15. I can not attend meetings , how do I get my point of view listened to?
Q16. What are the JDOCS procedures?
Q17. How do I join the mailing list?
Q18. How does this effort compare to the Linux Standard Base?
Q19. Does the unification with the Single UNIX Specification mean the Austin Group specifications are now only relevant to the UNIX community?
Q20. What are the core technical changes in the 2008 edition over the previous edition?
Q21. Were there many interfaces removed in the 2008 standard?
Q22. What changed in the handling of options for the 2008 standard?
Q23. What are the new functions added in the 2008 revision?
Q24. How do I submit a suggestion for inclusion in a future revision of the specification?
Q25. How do I get permission to excerpt materials from the standard for reuse in my product
Q26. What is the policy on obtaining permission to excerpt materials from the standard for reuse in my product
Q27. Who has been granted permission to excerpt materials from the standard
Q28. Are there any other related FAQs?
Q29. What products implement the standard?
Q30. How can I obtain old copies of the standard?
Q31. How do I add a question to this FAQ?


Q0. What is the Austin Group?

The Austin Common Standards Revision Group (CSRG) is an open technical working group established to develop and maintain develop and maintain the core open systems interfaces that are the POSIX® 1003.1 (and former 1003.2) standards, ISO/IEC 9945, and the core of the Single UNIX Specification.

The approach to specification development is "write once, adopt everywhere", with the deliverables being a set of specifications that carry simultaneously the IEEE POSIX designation, The Open Group's Technical Standard designation, and the ISO/IEC designation.

The current set of specifications is simultaneously ISO/IEC 9945, IEEE Std 1003.1 and forms the core of the Single UNIX Specification . This unique development combines both the industry led efforts and the formal standardization activities into a single initiative, and includes a wide spectrum of participants.

The most recent major edition of the specification was approved by The Open Group in July 2008 as the Base Specifications, Issue 7, by the IEEE in September 2008 as IEEE Std 1003.1-2008, and by ISO/IEC as ISO/IEC 9945:2008 in December 2008. The specification was published in December 2008, and is available electronically (including on the web in html, see later) and on CDROM.

In early 2013 , Technical Corrigendum 1 was approved by all the parties, and in April 2013 the 2013 Edition of the full specification was published incorporating the TC.

The 2013 edition supersedes the 2008 and 2004 editions of the standard.

Q1. Is there a description of the project describing the scope?

The scope for the current edition, published in late 2008 is available in its draft form:

URL: http://www.opengroup.org/austin/docs/austin_285r2.txt.

The original scope for previous editions and scopes of the technical corrigenda are also available in the document register.

Development of the standard occurs by consensus, often with long discussions on the reflector before that is achieved. Should issue resolution require a vote then the group is structured so that the three organizations that have adopted the specifications have an Organization Representative (OR) that can cast a vote. The three organizations are the IEEE's Portable Application Software Committee (PASC), the ISO JTC1 SC22 committee, and The Open Group's Base Working group.

Q2. Where can I download the specifications from?

The 2013 edition is available from The Open Group bookstore, look for item C136, and also from IEEE, look for IEEE Std 1003.1. The ISO/IEC edition is ISO/IEC 9945:2009.

Copies of the 2004 standard can also be obtained either from The IEEE (search on 1003.1-2001) , The Open Group (Look for documents T041,C046,C047,C048,C049) or ISO (look for ISO/IEC 9945 parts 1 thru 4).

Copies of both editions are freely available in pdf format to members of the Open Group from the Open Group publications catalog. If you wish to signup up your organization to become a member of The Open Group and are an active participant you can sign up for no fee at http://www.opengroup.org/austin/ogmembers/ (note this is for companies and organizations only). If you want to join as an individual please contact Andrew Josey directly, he can then add you as an individual affiliate member.

The html version of the standard is freely available, we request you to register at URL:http://www.unix.org/

Q3. What are the restrictions on the draft?

See the copyright notice on the documents and the notice at http://www.opengroup.org/austin/login.html . Downloading the draft is taken as agreement to abide by the stated terms and conditions. In brief you need to be a participant in the Austin Group in order to download the drafts.

URL: http://www.opengroup.org/austin/login.html (Copyright Notice)

All queries regarding permission to reproduce sections of the standard should be sent to austin-group-permissions at Open Group . Permission needs to be granted by both copyright holders, The IEEE and The Open Group.

The IEEE and The Open Group position on implementations of the standard is as follows: "it is fair use of the standard for implementors to use the names, labels etc contained within the specification. The intent of publication of the standard is to encourage implementations of the standard. Your attention is drawn to the disclaimer regarding verification of patents when implementing the standard."

Q4. Why should I get involved and how do I become a participant in the Austin Group?

Why should you get involved? By feeding back issues with the standard based on implementation experience the standard can be improved and extended with new functionality, which in turn can "raise the bar of commonality" among systems. There is often much more to be gained by having key functionality share a common interface and/or behave in exactly the same way, than for it to be different.

For further thoughts on this topic see: http://www.opengroup.org/austin/papers/posix-paper1.txt

To participate you need to join the Austin Group. See http://www.opengroup.org/austin/lists.html for more information.

URL: http://www.opengroup.org/austin/lists.html. (How to Join the Austin Group)

Q5. Who else is participating in the Austin Group?

A list of participants can be queried from the mailing list information page at http://www.opengroup.org/austin/lists.html As of October 2013, there are approximately 500 participants from over 100 organizations.

Q6. Are there minutes and documents available from meetings of the group?

Yes the group makes all its documentation publically available in the document register.

URL: http://www.opengroup.org/austin/docreg.html. (the Document Register)

Q7. Are there procedures for the operation of the group?

Yes, there are two sets of procedures.

  1. How the group operates without the politics -
    URL: http://www.opengroup.org/austin/docs/austin_26.txt.

  2. How the group operates with respect to the IEEE, ISO/IEC and the Open Group.
    URL: http://www.opengroup.org/austin/docs/austin_14r2.pdf

This second document is also known as the JDOCS procedures.

The procedures for maintenance of the approved standard and future revision are in Austin/112r3
URL: http://www.opengroup.org/austin/docs/austin_112r3.txt

Q8. Where is the schedule for draft development?

The current work item is development of Technical Corrigendum 2 for the 2008 edition of the standard, and also initial work on an Issue 8. There is no fixed date yet for the next TC or major issue.

Q9. Are there meetings? Can any one attend?

Yes there are meetings or teleconferences every few weeks. The purpose of these meetings is comment resolution and project planning. These are open meetings and anyone can attend. For face to face meetings, an agenda is circulated at least thirty days in advance of the meeting and minutes are kept for each meeting. For face to face meetings there is always a teleconference bridge for those unable to attend to participate. We also are on IRC at irc://irc.freestandards.org #austin

Q10. How can I find out where the next meeting is ?

Check the Austin Group web site (http://www.opengroup.org/austin), face to face meetings are announced at least 30 days in advance on the main page. There are also periodic teleconferences to review defect reports.

Q11. What is aardvark (and also what is Mantis)?

Aardvark is the historical commenting format used to review the drafts. We have now switched to the Mantis defect report tracking system.

URL: http://austingroupbugs.net (defect report information)

For Guidelines on bug reporting using mantis see
URL: http://www.opengroup.org/austin/mantis.html

Q12. How can I submit a comment against the specifications?

For defects in the final text of the specification, please use the defect reporting form. Go to http://austingroupbugs.net

URL: http://austingroupbugs.net (How to report a defect)

Q13. I filed an aardvark but did not see a copy on the mailing list. Problem?

Possibly, if you did not use Mantis, then we did not receive the bug.

Q14. Does this project have an IEEE Project number ?

Yes, its simply P1003.1.

Q15. I can not attend meetings , how do I get my point of view listened to?

Firstly, if the point can be described concisely with specific actions to remedy, then the recommended solution is to file an aardvark that will then be considered at the review meeting.

Secondly, if you are not sure about a problem and how to solve it, the first course of action is to start a discussion on the austin-group mailing list, and then if necessary to approach your designated Organizational Representative as per the JDOCS procedures to raise the matter on your behalf at a review meeting.

It is also possible to contact the chair to arrange an agenda slot for the review meeting where you can teleconference in with the review group.

Q16. What are the JDOCS procedures?

This is a tri-party set of procedures for operation of the joint group. The three organizations are IEEE PASC, The Open Group and ISO/IEC. In brief, these procedures layout the basic principles and high level operating rules for the group, and issue resolution procedures .

URL: http://www.opengroup.org/austin/docs/austin_14.pdf

Q17. How do I join the mailing list?

URL: http://www.opengroup.org/austin/lists.html. (How to Join the Austin Group)

Q18. How does this effort compare to the Linux Standard Base?

The Austin Group documents specify application programming interfaces (APIs) at the source level, and thus are about source code portability. They are neither a code implementation nor an operating system, but a stable definition of a programming interface that those systems supporting the specification guarantee to provide to the application programmer. Efforts such as the Linux Standard Base are about binary portability and define a specific binary implementation of an interface to operating system services. So they are standardization efforts with similar goals, to raise the bar of common functionality in their areas, with the Austin Group documents being a source level cross platform API, and the LSB aiming to be a volume binary ABI for the Linux platform. Put another way, the POSIX APIs are targeted for vendor neutrality across many platforms whereas the LSB binary API is a single platform.

Q19. Does the unification with the Single UNIX Specification mean the Austin Group specifications are now only relevant to the UNIX community?

No, the additional features to support the Single UNIX Specification have been added as an option (the XSI option). The core POSIX interfaces still comprise a series of options allowing a minimal implementation, and with the subprofiling standards such as POSIX 1003.13 and its revision (currently in progress), the Austin Group specifications are relevant as the open industry standard source API for embedded real-time devices and controllers.

For a good description of the modular options in the Austin Group specification see URL: http://people.redhat.com/~drepper/posix-option-groups.html

Q20. What are the core technical changes in the 2008 edition over the previous edition?

Q21. Were there many interfaces removed in the 2008 edition?

The following interfaces were removed from XSH:

bcmp() bcopy() bsd_signal() bzero() ecvt() fcvt() ftime() gcvt() getcontext() gethostbyaddr() gethostbyname() getwd() h_errno index() makecontext() mktemp() pthread_attr_getstackaddr() pthread_attr_setstackaddr() rindex() scalb() setcontext() swapcontext() ualarm() usleep() vfork() wcswcs()

Q22. What changed in the handling of options for 2008?

Functionality associated with the following options in the previous edition is now mandatory:

_POSIX_ASYNCHRONOUS_IO
_POSIX_BARRIERS
_POSIX_CLOCK_SELECTION
_POSIX_MAPPED_FILES
_POSIX_MEMORY_PROTECTION
_POSIX_READER_WRITER_LOCKS
_POSIX_REALTIME_SIGNALS
_POSIX_SEMAPHORES
_POSIX_SPIN_LOCKS
_POSIX_THREAD_SAFE_FUNCTIONS
_POSIX_THREADS
_POSIX_TIMEOUTS
_POSIX_TIMERS

Q23. What are the new functions added in the 2008 revision?

The following new functions from The Open Group Extended API Sets Part 1 to 4 are introduced:

alphasort(), dirfd(), dprintf(), duplocale(), faccessat(), fchmodat(), fchownat(), fdopendir(), fexecve(), fmemopen(), freelocale(), fstatat(), futimesat(), getdelim(), getline (), isalnum_l(), isalpha_l(), isblank_l(), iscntrl_l(), isdigit_l(), isgraph_l(), islower_l(), isprint_l(), ispunct_l(), isspace_l(), isupper_l(), iswalnum_l(), iswalpha_l(), iswblank_l(), iswcntrl_l(), iswctype_l(), iswdigit_l(), iswgraph_l(), iswlower_l(), iswprint_l(), iswpunct_l(), iswspace_l(), iswupper_l(), iswxdigit_l(), isxdigit_l(), linkat(), mbsnrtowcs(), mkdirat(), mkdtemp(), mkfifoat(), mknodat(), newlocale(), openat(), open_memstream(), psiginfo(), psignal(), pthread_mutexattr_getrobust(), pthread_mutexattr_setrobust(), pthread_mutex_consistent(), readlinkat(), renameat(), scandir(), stpcpy(), stpncpy(), strcasecmp_l(), strcoll_l(), strfmon_l(), strncasecmp_l(), strndup(), strnlen(), strsignal(), strxfrm_l(), symlinkat(), tolower_l(), toupper_l(), towctrans_l(), towlower(), towupper(), unlinkat(), uselocale(), wcpcpy(), wcpncpy(), wcscasecmp(), wcscasecmp_l(), wcscoll_l(), wcsdup(), wcsncasecmp(), wcsncasecmp_l(), wcsnlen(), wcsnrtombs(), wcsxfrm_l(), wctrans_l(), wctype_l(),

Q24. How do I submit a suggestion for inclusion in a future revision of the specification?

The procedures for inclusion of new features in a future revision are in Austin/112r3. You can also email suggestions to austin-group-futures-l at The Open Group.
URL: http://www.opengroup.org/austin/docs/austin_112r3.txt

The simplest way to start a formal discussion is to fill in a defect report form explaining what problem occurs through the feature not being in the standard and how this can be remedied by its inclusion:
URL: http://www.opengroup.org/austin/defectform.html (How to report a defect)

Q25. How do I get permission to excerpt materials from the standard for reuse in my product?

All queries regarding permission to reproduce sections of the standard should be sent to austin-group-permissions at Open Group . Permission needs to be granted by both copyright holders, The IEEE and The Open Group.

Q26. What is the policy on obtaining permission to excerpt materials from the standard for reuse in my product?

The copyright holders have a form that needs completion in order to assess a request for permission. This form is available on request from the address noted in Q26, and is used to determine the scope of the materials requested (list of manual pages) and what use is to be made of them. The general policy is to grant reasonable requests, with the requirement that due acknowledgement be made in the resulting material together with a disclaimer block that makes it clear where the definitive standard can be obtained from.

Q27. Who has been granted permission to excerpt materials from the standard?

The copyright holders have granted permission to a number of well known commercial organizations, as well as to several open source projects. Some of these are listed below:

The IEEE and The Open Group grant Permissions to Linux Man Pages project to incorporate material.

The IEEE and The Open Group grant Permissions to the FreeBSD project to incorporate material.

NetBSD OPERATING SYSTEM TO ADD ELEMENTS OF THE POSIX® STANDARD

Other projects that have received permission grants related to use of documentation include Gunnar Ritter's Heirloom Toolkit and other tools, Joerg Schilling's pax and find, Jens Schweikardt book, and the ISPRAS Linux testing project.

Q28. Are there any other related FAQs?

The POSIX 1003.1 Frequently Asked Questions file is available at http://www.opengroup.org/austin/papers/posix_faq.html

The Single UNIX Specification Frequently Asked Questions file is available at http://www.opengroup.org/austin/papers/single_unix_faq.html

Q29. What products implement the standard?

The standard is widely adopted, sometimes in whole and sometimes in part. The Open Group and the IEEE have a number of certification programs for products who want to show they implement the standard.

See the Open Group's UNIX 03 certified products list.

See the POSIX®: Certified by IEEE and The Open Group certified products list.

Q30. How can I obtain old copies of the standard?

For copies of IEEE standards you need to contact IEEE or visit http://standards.ieee.org.

The Open Group allows you to download previous versions of the Single UNIX Specification, either as the constituent parts (see http://www.opengroup.org/bookstore/catalog/un.htm) or as sets (see https://store.opengroup.org.

Q31. How do I add a question to this FAQ?

Send the question (preferably with a proposed answer) to Andrew Josey.