Updating emacs fails

Thomas Dickey dickey at radix.net
Mon Oct 24 09:40:34 UTC 2011

On Mon, Oct 24, 2011 at 08:32:30AM +0200, John R. Levine wrote:
> >>It sounds to me like the right thing to do is to fix emacs' configuration
> >>so it always uses the base system ncurses whether or not the package
> >>version is there.  Right?
> >
> >maybe/maybe not.  It depends on what emacs needs - whether it only works
> >with either its own termcap module or a conventional termcap library in
> >the system.  Probably its installation documentation tells what's needed.
> If you look at the build log I posted, it's failing because it's trying to 
> link in the system termcap library and failing because ncurses doesn't 
> provide it.

In other places, "-ltermcap" is symlinked to -lncurses

("provide" can be taken in more than one way - the functions are always
available, whether or not the port is written to use them).

A quick look at the emacs 23.3 sources shows various things relevant to
	a) the configure script makes a special check on netbsd to use
	   ncurses rather than the termcap library.
	b) it has a very old comment suggesting where to get the terminfo
	   or termcap sources (pre-1997).
	c) the NEWS file points out that LIBS_TERMCAP is either terminfo
	   or termcap.
	d) src/s/freebsd.h defines LIBS_TERMCAP to -lncurses unless the
	   system is before FreeBSD 4.0
	e) src/Makefile.in uses machine.h (in this case derived from the
	   previously-mentioned file).

There's enough in the emacs sources to make it pretty clear that a
failure to have emacs find the termcap functions would be a problem
in the emacs port - emacs prefers -lncurses to -ltermcap unless it's
being overridden.

Thomas E. Dickey
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