ANNOUNCE: GHC version 6.10.1 - EditLine / terminal incompatibility?

Duncan Coutts duncan.coutts at
Thu Nov 20 13:43:49 EST 2008

On Thu, 2008-11-20 at 15:16 +0000, Ian Lynagh wrote:
> On Thu, Nov 20, 2008 at 01:52:12PM +0000, Duncan Coutts wrote:
> > 
> > My selfish suggestion is that we maintain the readline configuration and
> > let the people who originally wanted editline support do the work to
> > maintain that configuration.
> Those people are GHC HQ: readline is GPL (not LGPL), so if GHC wants to
> be BSD then it can't use it.

It's not quite that simple. GHC HQ does not ship readline, it's just
shipping BSD code. If I link ghc against readline then the result must
be distributed in compliance with the GPL, but that's ok, all linux
distros do that. When GHC HQ ship binaries they can configure it to use

If someone (even GHC HQ) ships BSD code and GPL code linked together
then that doesn't mean that suddenly the BSD code has to be re-licensed,
it just means the overall result has to be shipped in a way that is
compliant with the GPL (ie providing source and providing a copy of the
GPL for the GPL components). I presume this already happens in the
windows installer that includes gcc etc.

> Although another option would be to make GHCi a separate (GPL) frontend
> to the (BSD) GHC API. The only downside is that (with static linking) we
> have another large binary. Another upside is that other GHC API users
> don't get an editline dependency.

Yes, independently of licence issues there's no need for the ghc api
package to depend on any line editor.


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