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Bash-4.1 available for FTP

From: Chet Ramey
Subject: Bash-4.1 available for FTP
Date: Sat, 2 Jan 2010 12:41:26 -0500


The first public release of bash-4.1 is now available with the URLs


and from the usual GNU mirror sites.

Unlike previous bash distributions, this tar file includes the formatted
documentation (postscript, dvi, html, and nroffed versions of the manual

Diffs from bash-4.0 are not available.

Please use `bashbug' to report bugs with this version.  It is built
and installed at the same time as bash.


Please read the README file first.

Installation instructions are provided in the INSTALL file.

New Features

This is the first revision to the fourth major release of bash.

This release fixes several outstanding bugs in bash-4.0 and introduces a
number of new features -- a larger number than usual for a minor version

The most notable new features are a dynamic programmable completion
definition framework, a "default" programmable completion option, a
way to pass shell options to subshells, a mechansim to have redirections
allocate and assign a file descriptor to a shell variable, and a way
to direct xtrace output to an arbitrary file descriptor.

Read the file NEWS in the bash-4.1 distribution for a complete
description of the new features.  A copy of the relevant portions
is included below.

Changes have been made to the Readline library being released at
the same time as bash-4.1, readline-6.1, so that Bash can be
linked against an already-installed Readline library rather than
the private version in lib/readline.  Only readline-6.0 and later
versions are able to provide all of the symbols that bash-4.1
requires; earlier versions of the Readline library will not work

A complete list of changes between bash-4.0 and bash-4.1 is
available in the file CHANGES; the complete list is too large to
include in this message.


Also available is a new release of the standalone Readline library,
version 6.1, with its own configuration scripts and Makefiles. 
It can be retrieved with the URLs


and from the usual GNU mirror sites.

Diffs from readline-6.0 are not available.

The formatted Readline documentation is included in the readline
distribution tar file.

A separate announcement listing the changes in Readline is being

As always, thanks for your help.


+========== NEWS ==========+
This is a terse description of the new features added to bash-4.1 since
the release of bash-4.0.  As always, the manual page (doc/bash.1) is
the place to look for complete descriptions.

1.  New Features in Bash

a.  Here-documents within $(...) command substitutions may once more be
    delimited by the closing right paren, instead of requiring a newline.

b.  Bash's file status checks (executable, readable, etc.) now take file
    system ACLs into account on file systems that support them.

c.  Bash now passes environment variables with names that are not valid
    shell variable names through into the environment passed to child

d.  The `execute-unix-command' readline function now attempts to clear and
    reuse the current line rather than move to a new one after the command

e.  `printf -v' can now assign values to array indices.

f.  New `complete -E' and `compopt -E' options that work on the "empty"
    completion: completion attempted on an empty command line.

g.  New complete/compgen/compopt -D option to define a `default' completion:
    a completion to be invoked on command for which no completion has been
    defined.  If this function returns 124, programmable completion is
    attempted again, allowing a user to dynamically build a set of completions
    as completion is attempted by having the default completion function
    install individual completion functions each time it is invoked.

h.  When displaying associative arrays, subscripts are now quoted.

i.  Changes to dabbrev-expand to make it more `emacs-like': no space appended
    after matches, completions are not sorted, and most recent history entries
    are presented first.

j.  The [[ and (( commands are now subject to the setting of `set -e' and the
    ERR trap.

k.  The source/. builtin now removes NUL bytes from the file before attempting
    to parse commands.

l.  There is a new configuration option (in config-top.h) that forces bash to
    forward all history entries to syslog.

m.  A new variable $BASHOPTS to export shell options settable using `shopt' to
    child processes.

n.  There is a new confgure option that forces the extglob option to be
    enabled by default.

o.  New variable $BASH_XTRACEFD; when set to an integer bash will write xtrace
    output to that file descriptor.

p.  If the optional left-hand-side of a redirection is of the form {var}, the
    shell assigns the file descriptor used to $var or uses $var as the file
    descriptor to move or close, depending on the redirection operator.

q.  The < and > operators to the [[ conditional command now do string
    comparison according to the current locale if the compatibility level
    is greater than 40.

r.  Programmable completion now uses the completion for `b' instead of `a'
    when completion is attempted on a line like: a $(b c.

s.  Force extglob on temporarily when parsing the pattern argument to
    the == and != operators to the [[ command, for compatibility.

t.  Changed the behavior of interrupting the wait builtin when a SIGCHLD is
    received and a trap on SIGCHLD is set to be Posix-mode only.

u.  The read builtin has a new `-N nchars' option, which reads exactly NCHARS
    characters, ignoring delimiters like newline.

v.  The mapfile/readarray builtin no longer stores the commands it invokes via
    callbacks in the history list.

w.  There is a new `compat40' shopt option.

2.  New Features in Readline

a.  New bindable function: menu-complete-backward.

b.  In the vi insertion keymap, C-n is now bound to menu-complete by default,
    and C-p to menu-complete-backward.

c.  When in vi command mode, repeatedly hitting ESC now does nothing, even
    when ESC introduces a bound key sequence.  This is closer to how
    historical vi behaves.

d.  New bindable function: skip-csi-sequence.  Can be used as a default to
    consume key sequences generated by keys like Home and End without having
    to bind all keys.

e.  New application-settable function: rl_filename_rewrite_hook.  Can be used
    to rewite or modify filenames read from the file system before they are
    compared to the word to be completed.

f.  New bindable variable: skip-completed-text, active when completing in the
    middle of a word.  If enabled, it means that characters in the completion
    that match characters in the remainder of the word are "skipped" rather
    than inserted into the line.

g.  The pre-readline-6.0 version of menu completion is available as
    "old-menu-complete" for users who do not like the readline-6.0 version.

h.  New bindable variable: echo-control-characters.  If enabled, and the
    tty ECHOCTL bit is set, controls the echoing of characters corresponding
    to keyboard-generated signals.

i.  New bindable variable: enable-meta-key.  Controls whether or not readline
    sends the smm/rmm sequences if the terminal indicates it has a meta key
    that enables eight-bit characters.

``The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne.'' - Chaucer
                 ``Ars longa, vita brevis'' - Hippocrates
Chet Ramey, ITS, CWRU    address@hidden    http://cnswww.cns.cwru.edu/~chet/

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