Proposal: Add --with-libedit flag to the readline package

Yitzchak Gale gale at
Sat Jan 12 17:44:08 EST 2008

Judah Jacobson wrote:
> These two interfaces do not overlap, as far as I can tell...
> 1. System.Console.Editline
> 2. System.Console.Editline.Readline
> For now, I'm only working on #2, since it'll be easier to integrate
> with ghci

Hmm, I see. I thought that there was some overlap.

Well, in that case, the goals of native readline emulation
for Mac OS X Tiger and editline support for all platforms do
not overlap as much as I thought. Too bad.

My point is that editline support for all platforms should
be a much higher priority than removing the dependence on
readline for one specific version of Mac OS X, in my

So my personal preference - even as a Tiger user - would
still be to work on #1 first, even if only on a core subset of
features. That would make it possible to write interactive
console applications in Haskell when GPL is not appropriate.
Right now that is a problem on every platform.

If not too hard, the next step would be to migrate GHCi
to editline, allowing it to be used in a non-GPL environment
on every platform. (Actually, since the ghc command has
a -i option, I'm wondering why the BSD-style license on GHC
is valid at all until we do this.)

The third step would be System.Console.Editline.Readline, which
would provide several smaller benefits - an easier migration
path from Readline to Editline, an easier way for people who
really want the Readline API to make their programs work on
more platforms, and easier integration of Readline support on

Anyway, if you're most excited about the Tiger integration
side of things, I'm all for it, go for it!


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