[openssl-project] To use or not use the iconv API, and to use or not use other libraries

Richard Levitte levitte at openssl.org
Thu Jun 7 19:01:15 UTC 2018

In message <dd33adfb-e283-f8fb-26a7-9aeacca60ffe at openssl.org> on Thu, 7 Jun 2018 16:58:20 +0200, Andy Polyakov <appro at openssl.org> said:

appro> One can argue that iconv was actually standardized, and in such
appro> case it would be appropriate to make it conditional on
appro> _POSIX_VERSION. [Though it doesn't seem to be part of pull
appro> request in question. Why not?] But as far as _POSIX_VERSION
appro> goes, we kind of know that some systems by *default* offer
appro> lower version, presumably in order to facilitate backward
appro> portability.

[about why not: because I was unsure how _POSIX_SOURCE is defined...
having seen too many places where the user (i.e. us) gets to define
that macro to get desired features.  I've read up since, so expect a
change that uses this macro]

appro> So that it would mean that we would have to explicitly rise the
appro> bar in some cases. Which ones? And how high? This brings us to
appro> following question. Is *this* actually right moment to
appro> introduce that kind of *multi-variable* problem? In other words
appro> the problem kind of has two sides: a) principal, to do or not
appro> to do; b) *when* would it be appropriate to start, is minor
appro> release right moment? Is b) part of the vote?

We don't have to answer the question "how high" now.  I'm fully
prepared to have the use of iconv limited to platforms where we know
it's available (for example, we - or well, *I* - know that VMS has the
iconv API in the C RTL, not even any need to link with any extra
library...  and we *know* it's available in glibc since version
2.something).  I'm fully prepared to have to deal with people saying
"hey, we have that too!" and having to edit config targets as we go.
I do not expect any support of iconv to cover more than what we can
test or get patches for, as with anything else.


Richard Levitte         levitte at openssl.org
OpenSSL Project         http://www.openssl.org/~levitte/

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