readline problems building GHC on Mac OS X (was: Re: [Haskell-cafe] Re: ANNOUNCE: GHC version 6.8.2)

Deborah Goldsmith dgoldsmith at
Fri Dec 21 20:00:42 EST 2007

On Dec 21, 2007, at 3:40 PM, Thorkil Naur wrote:

> 1. Which readline do we use? GNU readline, of course. As opposed to  
> the
> readline installed as /usr/include/readline/*.h
> and /usr/lib/libreadline.dylib on our PPC Mac OS X machines which  
> are said to
> be (and can even be observed to be) symbolic links to something called
> libedit and which, to me, never has managed to provide something  
> suitable for
> use by GHC. But what is GNU readline, then? I don't exactly know,  
> but my best
> guess is something like 
> . I
> never tried to install GNU readline directly from this file. On some
> occasions, I have installed readline from mac ports. Although I am  
> fairly
> confident that what was installed was some version of the GNU  
> readline, I am
> not sure. On other occasions, I have installed GNU readline from  
> various
> sources related to GHC, some times known to me, at other times not.

I should point out that other components on Mac OS X successfully use  
libedit for readline functionality.

While I agree fully with the desire to have full readline  
functionality in libedit, would it make sense for GHC to offer an  
option to use Mac OS X's native "readline", with concomitant loss of  
functionality? Some users might prefer giving up some function in  
return for one less thing to be installed external to GHC. I probably  

Just a thought...


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