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It has come to my attention that a number of packages may be breaching
the GPL by linking with libreadline instead of libeditline.

For instance, I asked on debian-legal, and was told that no program may
link both with libreadline and openssl because the licenses of these two
packages are incompatible (if you disagree, please bring it up on
debian-legal, not here).

However, a number of programs do exactly this. Probably the most popular
package is python2.1.

It is not very simple to change to use libeditline though, as many
programs have probably been hardcoded to look for libreadline, not

I propose a package (or maybe do it to libeditline-dev) that contains
the following symlink and conflicts with libreadline4-dev:

ln -sf libeditline.so.0.0.0  /usr/lib/libreadline.so

This means packages can build depend on this new package, and will
automatically link to use libeditline instead of libreadline.

Brian May <bam@snoopy.apana.org.au>

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