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Re: ncurses is ancient, and rxvt terminfo is broken

Martin Schulze <joey@finlandia.Infodrom.North.DE> wrote:

>> People noticed months ago (leading to the long and complicated transfer of
>> ownership to FSF) that ncurses versions up to 4.1 are actually non-free
>> according to the DSFG:
>>         Permission is hereby granted to reproduce and distribute ncurses
>>         by any means and for any fee, whether alone or as part of a
>>         larger distribution, in source or in binary form, PROVIDED
>>         this notice is included with any such distribution, not removed
>>         from header files, and is reproduced in any documentation
>>         accompanying it or the applications linked with it.
>> There is nothing permitting people to make modifications.

> Err, if the new ncurses is non-free

Maybe 4.1 was non-free, 4.2 is free:

 * Copyright (c) 1998 Free Software Foundation, Inc.                        *
 *                                                                          *
 * Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a  *
 * copy of this software and associated documentation files (the            *
 * "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including      *
 * without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish,      *
 * distribute, distribute with modifications, sublicense, and/or sell       *
 * copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is    *
 * furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:                 *
 *                                                                          *
 * The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included  *
 * in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.                   *

or did I miss some restrictions (I'm not good in understanding license 

> and if we include it in favour of the old one, tons of packages
> suddenly become non-free (i.e. for contrib) just because they base
> on ncurses which has become non-free?

> Am I paranoid?  In that case, I'd rather like to stick with the old
> version.

I hope you are :-)
Version 4.2 is (as far as I can see) completely free, and it has less
bugs than the 3.4 release (maybe fixed in the Debian package, don't
ask me) and it has many new features like the possibility to use the
color "default" which allows to work with white/black and black/white
without changing your color setup. For example the newsreader tin and
the mailreader Mutt are able to use this new feature.

BTW: the ncurses version is the biggest disadvantage in Debian 2.0 for 
me, that I can see. I have to install 4.2 in /usr/local and have to
recompile some programs to use the new version...

For me it's a MUST to upgrade to 4.2 _now_, because the next stable
release should use 4.2 and there are many packets, that have to be
recompiled before. It's crazy to use an actual glibc in the
distribution but a completely outdated ncurses library.



PS: Sorry, if this discussion is something like a FAQ, I'm new to
    Debian and this list and the ncurses version was the biggest
    annoyance to me, that I found yet.

  * Internet: roland@spinnaker.rhein.de * Fido: 2:2450/42 *
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