Win32 Api and Posix Api Comparison

984 words 4 pages
Javier, Jomel T.
IT222, 1-2 WS... SLU Baguio City Philippines


Comparison between WIN32 API and POSIX API

Win32 API is Microsoft’s core set of application programming interfaces available in the Microsoft Windows operating systems while POSIX API, an acronym for “Portable Operating System Interface (for Unix)” is a core set of application programming interfaces, shell, and utilities interfaces for software compatible with variants on the Unix operating system. Each of which has its own style of implementation.

Win32 and POSIX API have processes that needed several resources to execute, and if resources are available, they can be granted and control can be returned to the user process. Otherwise, the process
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Thus, device files and other files are named and accessed in the same way. A 'regular file' is just an ordinary data file in the disk. A 'block special file' represents a device with characteristics similar to a disk (data transfer in terms of blocks). A 'character special file' represents a device with characteristics similar to a keyboard (data transfer is by stream of bits in sequential order). All file in this API have its description stored in a structure called ‘inode’ (related to file attributes in win32). The inode contains info about the file-size, irs location, time of last access, time of last modification, permission, and so on. Directories are also represented as files and have an associated inode. In addition to descriptions about the file, the inode contains pointers to additional data blocks. As an operating system concept, both file management process have same activities like opening, creating and deleting a file/directories; organizing and manipulating files; mapping and backing up files, and etc. Each file management function should be doing these activities but different in implementation and process.

As an evaluation, both Win32 and POSIX API are fair enough, but they have its own pros and cons. Win32 is nearly complete and fairly consistent. While it can be criticized, POSIX API is at least as vulnerable. File descriptors and process IDs are treated very differently. POSIX API lost a lot of its original conciseness once the