WG15 Defect Report Ref: 9945-2-23
Topic: test

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


Last update: 1997-05-20


	Class: The unaddressed issue

The standard does not speak to 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:			test
	Relevant Sections:	4.62.4

Defect Report:
          The standard describes, in Section  4.62.4  -  Operands  {of 
          test}, the -w and -x primaries: 
                    -w        True if file  exists  and  is  writable. 
                              True shall indicate only that the  write 
                              flag is  on.   The  file  shall  not  be 
                              writable on a read-only file system even 
                              if this test indicates true. 
                    -x        True if file exists and  is  executable. 
                              True  shall  indicate  only   that   the 
                              execute  flag  is  on.   If  file  is  a 
                              directory, true indicates that file  can 
                              be searched. 
          [Draft 12 of ISO/IEC 9945-2:1993 (July 1992), p. 474, lines 
          However, for the -r primary, the  standard  states  that  -r 
          file returns ``[t]rue if  file  exists  and  is  readable.'' 
          [Ibid., p. 474, line 10235] 
          Does the -r primary have the same caveat as the  -w  and  -x 
          primaries, namely, only checking the read flag in  the  mode 
          The descriptions of the -w and -x  primaries  mention  ``the 
          write flag,''  and  ``the  execute  flag.''   Which  of  the 
          respective flags should be checked: owner, group, or  other? 
          Or is this unspecified by POSIX.2.  Otherwise, may we assume 
          the standard intends the ``appropriate'' flag: the user flag 
          if the user ID matches the owner of the file, the group flag 
          if the file is owned by any group in the current  grouplist, 
          else  the  other  flag,  with  no  check   for   appropriate 

WG15 response for 9945-2:1993 

The standard does not state that -r checks the read bit, so it does not
have that restriction the way the -w and -x flags do.  The question of
which flags are checked (and the order) is unspecified by the standard,
and thus any behavior is allowed.  Concern over the wording of this
section of the standard has been forwarded to the sponsors of the

Rationale for Interpretation: