textproc/asciidoc port with shells/bash dependency

Stephen Blott sblott at computing.dcu.ie
Mon Mar 16 05:51:10 PDT 2009

On Sat, Mar 14, 2009 at 10:41:32PM +1100, andrew clarke wrote:
> Hi,
> With the recent problems involving the FreeBSD port of bash-4.0 got me
> curious as to why the bash shell was installed at all on my system, as
> it is not a standard component of FreeBSD.  It turns out the only
> software on my system that requires bash is AsciiDoc, as a run
> dependency.  Further investigation seems to indicate that it is only
> used by the a2x script as supplied with AsciiDoc.  However on my
> system, a2x fails anyway:
> $ uname -a
> FreeBSD blizzard.phoenix 6.4-RELEASE-p1 FreeBSD 6.4-RELEASE-p1 #0: Sun
> Dec 21 07:56:41 UTC 2008
> root at i386-builder.daemonology.net:/usr/obj/usr/src/sys/GENERIC  i386
> $ pkg_info | grep asciidoc
> asciidoc-8.3.5      A text document format for writing short documents and man
> $ a2x test.txt
> readlink: illegal option -- f
> usage: readlink [-n] [file ...]
> a2x: failed: enhanced getopt(1) required

I know this wasn't the point of your post, but a2x works on my 7.1 box:

   - install readlink and getopt from the ports
   - make sure /usr/local/bin is before /usr/bin in your PATH
   - also install dblatex from the ports


> Assuming this isn't a fault with bash-4.0, and assuming a2x is also
> broken on FreeBSD 7.x, a short-term fix would be to not install a2x to
> /usr/local/bin/a2x, then the run dependency on bash could be removed.
> Longer-term, given that AsciiDoc is primarily written in Python, it
> seems odd to me that a2x isn't written in Python as well, which would
> obviously permanently remove the run dependency on bash.
> Thanks,
> Regards
> Andrew
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