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10.5: Fix the echo -n problem in 10.5
Authored by: ducasi on Nov 20, '07 04:05:10PM

I've used Unix for about the same length of time.

The "echo -n" convention was in 4.2BSD, and so all BSD-derived unices supported this, including FreeBSD, where much of the unix utilities in Mac OS X comes from.

The "echo \c" style was from SYSV Unix, which was the main commercial stream of Unix.

There was a coming together of the two systems around SYSV revision 4 – "SVR4", when with Sun's help AT&T merged in missing features from BSD into SYSV. Unfortunately the "-n" flag to echo didn't make it. Probably because the flags like "\c" that the SYSV echo understands are more powerful than just the "-n" flag, and it also muddies the semantics of the command.

The so-called "Single Unix Specification" was based upon SVR4, so it codifies the "\c" style, and thus that is what Apple needed to support to pass the test, and officially have OS X be called "Unix".

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