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Problem experienced with ncurses-5.3-20030719-patch.sh (Cygwin)

From: Adrian Ford
Subject: Problem experienced with ncurses-5.3-20030719-patch.sh (Cygwin)
Date: Fri, 17 Sep 2004 10:45:43 +0100 (BST)

Dear Developers,

I recently came across an issue when I downloaded
ncurses-5.3-4 source for Cygwin. The problem was
within the patch shell script
ncurses-5.3-20030719-patch.sh which is called by the
main install script ncurses5.3-4.sh. The patch script
begins by removing some files unconditionally e.g.
lib_insstr.c and then invokes the command "patch". The
problem I found with Cygwin is that the patch utility
is not included by default with the list of required
packages - it is a seperate package to download.
Therefore when the script ran I received messages

patch: not found
patch: not found
patch: not found

The patch script did not appear to exit with non-zero
status and when control was passed back to the parent
install script it actually continued regardless and
fell over with a fatal error during the make process
(...no rule to make target lib_insstr.c required by
lib_insstr.o....) because although these files had
been removed, because "patch" was not installed, then
the make files had not effectively been amended to
account for these removals.

I can't vouch if this problem would apply to other
flavours of Unix, but I would recommend one of two

1. Have the patch script check for the existence of
"patch" and exit with non-zero status immediately with
an appropriate error message before performing any
2. Include some sort of equivalent shell script to
"patch" with the package

I guess going with option 1 it may be worth modifying
the documentation to list patch as a requirement.

Thanks and keep up the excellent work,

Adrian Ford

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