The proposed POSIX.1e standard defines a few things like ACLs that are widely supported. But the proposal itself was withdrawn. How come? The only reasoning I've found online is this quote from http://wt.tuxomania.net/topics/1999_06_Posix_1e/:

Why Posix.1e was abandoned is difficult to understand from today's (July 2014) point of view. Solaris, Irix, Linux, and probably other Unices seemed to recognize the standard. On the other hand the FreeBSD project found counter arguments and didn't integrate capabilities ('fine grained privileges') by default.

On the other hand, Jörg Schilling said this on this site (What is the exact purpose of `mask` in file system ACL?)

BTW: The POSIX-1003.1 draft for ACLs has been withdrawn in 1997 by the reference implementations (a.g. Solaris) because it turned out that customers wanted a more powerful method that has later been standardized as NVSv4 ACLs.

Is there a more detailed account of what happened?


I seem to have hit paydirt here. I searched the "usual haunts" and found nada, then thought, hey, where in the good 'ole days would *NIX freaks post about this stuff?

Usenet. They would post on Usenet. On April 30, 2002, Casey Schauffler wrote:

I was the final technical editor of the document, and had the unpleasant task of requesting its withdrawl after the completion of Draft 17.

In the end, only SGI and IBM cared enough about it to continue working on it, IBM would not pay for travel, and twice in Poughkeepsie was all I could handle.

More to the point, standards development fell off of the list of important things for computer companies right about 1995, and the security effort fell victem to that.

There where a number of issues with the Draft itself that didn't help. It should have been five seperate efforts (ACLs, Audit, Capabilities, Information Labels, MAC) rather that a single integrated document. The source for the draft disappeared for a year and was only partially recovered. Some sections where too ambitious for their intended purpose. Too much was designed by the working group.

  • impressive sleuthing. USENET is a beast from the past, although some of us still use it. :) – Tim Kennedy Mar 16 at 4:15

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