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Re: ncurses package orphaned...

Michael Alan Dorman wrote:
> Debian developers:
> ESR has, IMHO, decided to start a pissing match about ncurses
> development.  I have no desire to participate or watch.
> My frank recommendation is that we ditch ncurses entirely, go back to
> BSD curses and termcap and encourage authors of free packages to use
> slang.

Tempting though this may be, I'm not sure it's an option.  I believe
that slang uses the terminfo database, so we need to keep terminfo
regardless of what happens to curses.  We may want to separate our
terminfo database into an entirely new set of packages, unrelated to any

As for BSD curses, I had terrible times with that when trying to port
the Frotz interpreter.  Ncurses was so much better that I simply pointed
to it in the README file in the source, for those with BSD-derived
curses libraries.  I'm prejudiced against it; I'd rather not see it come

> I enclose my latest set of diffs against 4.1, in case someone here's
> sucker enough to take up the torch.  If so, have fun.  I've got no
> more time to waste on the smouldering brushfire that is ncurses
> development, and I'm sick of trying to find some middle ground between
> people's need/desire for an updated, bug-fixed library and the various
> personality disputes that exist between the ncurses developers.

I don't blame you one bit.  I'm really glad this crackup happened now,
when hamm is still a long way from seeing release.  Can you imagine the
chaos that would have hit if this had happened 3 weeks before 2.0 was to
come out, with all our packages dependent on 4.1?

This is a really miserable situation.  My personal hope is that some
kind of resolution happens before too much longer; either one side wins,
or they agree to separate.  Curses is too important to a lot of software
to let our best implementation of it die.  In the meantime, I'll look
into separating out the terminfo database...and keep an ear open.

Thanks a lot for your efforts on our behalf, Michael.


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