Copyright © 2014,2015 by Thomas E. Dickey

Comments about the term ANSI-fication


Here are suggested definitions:

an·si·fy (an′-ze-fī′)

v. an·si·fied, an·si·fy·ing, an·si·fies

  1. To convert or transform into one of the ANSI-standardized formats.
    The ANSI C computer language is generally assumed by context.
    ANSI published many standards.
  2. To convert or transform C programs from K&R syntax to ANSI prototypes.


  1. To become a standard (ANSI) C program; use function prototypes and other syntax defined in ANSI C.
  2. To exploit features of ANSI C useful for compiler checks, including function prototypes, the const keyword, token concatenation with the preprocessor.

an·si·fi·ca·tion (an′-ze-fĭ-kā′shən)


  1. Acquisition or methodical use of ANSI-standard syntax, as of C computer programs or terminal control sequences.
  2. The condition of being ansified.
  3. A set of programs which has been ansified.

Referring to C programs

I did not coin this term, but found it most appropriate for describing the conversion from K&R C to ANSI C. It is not found in the so-called jargon file; the closest term “ANSI” is helpful only for general background.

The work that I did for XFree86 (referring to email) started in May 1998 (see notes for patch #77). XFree86 3.Ni (October 6, 1998) included these items

1884. Cleanup Xlibint.h, which significantly reduces the level of compiler 
      warnings, and also cleanup XIE's error.h (#2007, Thomas Dickey). 
1883. Add support for built-in driver modes (#2006, Egbert Eich). 
1882. Ansify and remove gcc warnings for imake, makedepend, lndir, makestrs, 
      makekeys and mkg3states) (#2005, Matthieu Herrb). 

Referring again to my email, I see that a few people used the term before I picked it up and reused it. For instance,

Referring to ANSI C seems to be the most common usage. It may have been first (or most widely) used relating to ansi2knr. Here are some additional mentions for that tool:

Here are some other mentions:

but it's used in other ways.

Other uses of ANSIfication

ANSI terminal controls

ANSI terminal controls, in particular for color have been around for a while. Applying the term "ANSIfy" to those seems to be recent.