Alternatives to gcc (was Re: gcc 4.3: when will it becomestandard compiler?)

Gavin Atkinson gavin at
Sun Feb 1 09:13:16 PST 2009

On Sat, 31 Jan 2009, Pedro F. Giffuni wrote:
> --- On Sat, 1/31/09, Mark Linimon <linimon at> wrote:
> On Sat, Jan 31, 2009 at 01:08:54PM -0800, Pedro F. Giffuni wrote:
>>> The effort didn't go far enough. Why haven't we removed GNU readline ?
>> Probably either because someone hasn't written a BSD-licensed one, or
>> someone hasn't done the work to test-compile src and ports on all the
>> appropriate architectures.
> Wrong on both:
> - libedit has a readline compatibility mode that has replaced GNU readline in the other BSDs.
> - If you look in the archives you will find patches.
> If there really was any effort to remove GPL'd stuff from the tree it 
> missed this big time: GNU readline is a library under the GPL (not 
> LGPL), it should be dead long ago.

As far as I can see, in the base system, there are five things linked 
against readline which would not otherwise be under the GPL:

kadmin, ktutil, gvinum, ntpq, ntpdc

Of these, gvinum is a surprise.  I'm not sure what it needs readline for, 
and cannot see why this isn't able to use the copy of libedit in the base 
system.  ntpq and ntpdc are being built with the option to use libreadline 
commented out, so I'm not sure why they are being linked with it.  I don't 
know about the Kerberos programs, but given they are contrib I suspect 
that may be a reaon why they are still using libedit rather than readline.

I may be wrong (feel free to correct me) but I can't see what the real 
issue is with having readline in the base, if only code that is already 
GPL is linking against it.  Obviously it would be good if the five 
utilities above could be linked against libedit rather than readline.


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