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readline shared library

Question: Should Debian use the readline shared library (`librl.so.1.2')?

REASONS FOR (to date)

  * Can be used for `ftp', `bash', `python', etc. -- reduces the size
    of /usr/bin and /bin.


  * Saves space on the root partition. (corollary of above reason)

    True.  (At worst, it shouldn't increase the size of / or /usr.)
    Does anyone have any hard figures?

  * Increases functionality of `ftp'.



  * If we link /lib/librl.so.1.2 into `bash' and `librl.so.1.2' can't
    be found, then `bash' won't work.

    So what?  I do not see any significant risks in using the readline
    shared library.  In fact, reducing the size of the root partition
    helps make the root filesystem more safe.

  * Essential things shouldn't use any other dynamic libraries than

    Back this up with some reasoning.  Making a rule without a reason
    is silly.


After examining all of these facts, my opinion is that it would be a
good change.  If we already use readline functions in `bash', why not
use readline in `ftp', put `librl.so.1.2' into /lib, and dynamically
link everything that can (or already does) use readline into it?

Now, does anyone have any real reasons *not* to do it?

Daniel Quinlan  <quinlan@spectrum.cs.bucknell.edu>

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