WG15 Defect Report Ref: 9945-2-11
Topic: mailx

This is an approved interpretation of 9945-2:1993.


Last update: 1997-05-20


        Class: The unaddressed issue

The standard does not address this issue, and as such no conformance
distinction can be made between alternative implementations based on this.
This is being referred to the Sponsors of the standard for clarifying
wording in the next amendment.


	Topic:			mailx
	Relevant Sections:	4.40.7

Defect Report:
          In Section 4.40.7 - Extended  Description  {of  mailx},  the 
          standard states the  order  in  which  mailx  initialization 
               At startup time, mailx shall  take  the  following 
               steps in sequence: 
                    (1)  Establish all variables at their  stated 
                         default values. 
                    (2)  Process command-line options, overriding 
                         corresponding default values. 
                    (3)  Import any of the  DEAD,  EDITOR,  MBOX, 
                         LISTER,   PAGER,   SHELL,   or    VISUAL 
                         variables  that  are  present   in   the 
                         environment,       overriding        the 
                         corresponding default values. 
                    (4)  Read mailx commands from an  unspecified 
                         system  startup-file,  unless   the   -n 
                         option  is  given,  to  initialize   any 
                         internal mailx variables and aliases. 
                    (5)  Process  the  startup  file   of   mailx 
                         commands  named  in  the   user   MAILRC 
          [Draft 12 of ISO/IEC 9945-2:1993 (July 1992), p. 362, lines 
          The standard does not indicate when mailboxes  are  read  in 
          this sequence.  It is reasonable to assume that the standard 
          intends to describe historical  mailx  operation  unless  it 
          explicitly  distinguishes  itself.   Can  we  interpret  the 
          standard's  quiescence  on  the  matter  as   implying   the 
          historical behavior?  The behaviour is as  above,  with  the 
          following steps added: 
               (4a) Read the system mailbox if in read mode and the -f 
                    option is not specified. 
               (6)  Read the mailbox specified with the -f option. 

WG15 response for 9945-2:1993 
The standard does not address this issue, allowing 
an implementation to process unspecified actions in any order.
Concern over the specification in this area has been 
forwarded to the Sponsors of the standard.

Rationale for Interpretation: