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comp.lang.c FAQ list · Question 19.41

Q: But I can't use all these nonstandard, system-dependent functions, because my program has to be ANSI compatible!

A: You're out of luck. Either you misunderstood your requirement, or it's an impossible one to meet. ANSI/ISO Standard C simply does not define ways of doing these things; it is a language standard, not an operating system standard. An international standard which does address many of these issues is POSIX (IEEE 1003.1, ISO/IEC 9945-1), and many operating systems (not just Unix) now have POSIX-compatible programming interfaces.

It is possible, and desirable, for most of a program to be ANSI-compatible, deferring the system-dependent functionality to a few routines in a few files which are either heavily #ifdeffed or rewritten entirely for each system ported to; see question 19.1 for an example. See also question 19.42.

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