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Re: need to unbreak Emacs build on AIX

From: Paul Eggert
Subject: Re: need to unbreak Emacs build on AIX
Date: Sun, 3 Jan 2021 12:56:54 -0800
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:78.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/78.5.0

On 1/1/21 10:47 PM, Eli Zaretskii wrote:
On the emacs-27
branch, please just countermand the problematic condition with
AIX-specific condition, as I don't want to change the configure script

I doubt whether the problem occurs only on AIX. As I understand it now, the problem can happen on any platform that uses the curses library from BSD via SVR4 and X/Open.

I now see that I misspoke when I wrote that Emacs uses libncurses on AIX. Emacs uses libcurses, because XLC-generated executables cannot link to libncurses, as libncurses requires libgcc_s.a which is a GCC-ism.

I don't offhand see how to fix this with a condition in the C code, so on the emacs-27 branch I merely documented the issue via the attached patch.

My guess is that the issue is rare, as the original curses library has been obsolete for quite some time. And given that curses does not work in Emacs 27 and this is the first bug report about it and I found it only by doing some extensive portability checking, perhaps we should instead drop support for curses, and insist on ncurses or tinfo or terminfo. I wouldn't be surprised if the Emacs curses code has other issues that we don't know about because nobody uses it.

Attachment: 0001-Mention-lcurses-problem-on-AIX.patch
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