Subject: Re: man pages & style guide
To: Julian Bean <>
From: Michael L. VanLoon -- <>
List: current-users
Date: 03/07/1996 09:34:54
>>> On a not entirely unrelated note, whilst browsing around my new userland, I
>>> read the BSD style guide.  It is not exactly my personal C style, but it's
>>> pretty close, and I'm prepared to adjust.  But why do we dislike ANSI
>>> function definitions, with parameter types in the arglist??  I was brought
>>> up on this (I learnt C from the Que C Quick Reference Guide *shame*
>>> although I did later read K&R on the subject).

>>We'd like to make it possible for NetBSD to be compiled with pre-ANSI

>Humph.  Why bother?

Can't someone put this into a FAQ?  I've read this whole discussion
thread twice already.

Because bringing up a new port on a foreign machine with a
brain-damaged compiler can be impossible, or at least very difficult,
if you don't do it this way.  Remember, NetBSD is multi-platform, and
tries to make it as easy as possible to port.  Which means building
pieces of the system with someone else's compiler.

>>> Also, although I feel much less strongly about this, why do we not named
>>> parameters in prototypes?  I always feel this makes header files nicely
>>> self-documenting...

>>Possibly for aesthetic reasons.  To not intrude upon the user's
>>namespace, we'd have to prepend underscores to function argument

Ditto for this discussion.

There are archives of the NetBSD mailing lists on  I'm
sure both of these discussions, in multiple iterations, are there.

  Michael L. VanLoon                       
       --<  Free your mind and your machine -- NetBSD free un*x  >--
     NetBSD working ports: 386+PC, Mac 68k, Amiga, HP300, Sun3, Sun4,
                           DEC PMAX (MIPS), DEC Alpha, PC532
     NetBSD ports in progress: VAX, Atari 68k, others...