Origin of POSIX

From jsq@longway.tic.com Thu May  3 19:16:29 1990
From: jsq@longway.tic.com (John S. Quarterman)
Newsgroups: comp.std.unix
Subject: Re: Answer to "what does POSIX stand for?"
Date: 2 May 90 18:17:10 GMT
Reply-To: std-unix@uunet.uu.net

From: John S. Quarterman 

In article  From: Don_Lewine@dgc.ceo.dg.com:
>From the Rationale and Note section of IEEE Std 1003.1-1988 section B.1:
>"Since the interface enables application writers to write portable
>applications -- it was developed with that goal in mind -- it has been
>dubbed POSIX, an acronym for Portable Operations System Interface.  The
>name POSIX, suggested by Richard Stallman, was adopted during the printing
>of the Trial Use Standard."

At the time, the official name of the proposed standard was IEEE
Standard Portable Operating System Environment, or POSE.  Thus POSIX
was a fairly obvious pun to produce something that sounded and looked
similar to UNIX.  The official name of the standard has changed several
times since then (it was at one point Standard Portable Operating
System for Computer Environments, or SPOSCE, and the name on the cover
of the Full Use Standard is IEEE Standard Portable Operating System
Interface for Computer Environments, or SPOSICE), but the name POSIX
has stuck.  Could have been worse:  there exist bound draft copies of
the Trial Use Standard that say IEEEIX on the cover....

>"... The term POSIX is expected to be pronounced pahz-icks, as in positive,
>not poh-six, or other variations."

Note that this assertion appears only in the rationale and the foreword,
not in the body of the standard.  This is because the committee could not
standardize a pronunciation, and in fact had no consensus on what it might be.
Nonetheless, there is a small clique that considers it their duty to enforce
what they regard as the correct pronunciation, even though they don't all
pronounce it the same way themselves.

Volume-Number: Volume 19, Number 98


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