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Re: gnu diff (was Re: does it really need gnu patch?)

From: Ben Collins-Sussman <sussman_at_collab.net>
Date: 2001-11-25 00:28:07 CET

"Perry E. Metzger" <perry@piermont.com> writes:

> "Perry E. Metzger" <perry@piermont.com> writes:
> > Hmm. It seems that NetBSD's diff, although it claims to be gnu diff 2.7,
> > does not pass this test. Any ideas on what I have to do to fix any
> > damage done to it so it will work?
> BTW, to be clear, I've got NetBSD commit access so my intention is to
> fix our diff "permanently" so the released NetBSD diff does the right thing.

Oooh, a NetBSD committer. :-)

There's a long FreeBSD thread about why they modified their GNU diff.
I don't remember the details, or where I read about it.

If you look at the test: GNU diff notices when an input file doesn't
end with a newline, and adds a special line about this at the end of
the patch-file it produces. IIRC, the FreeBSD people found this
behavior annoying, or maybe it broke some other program reading the
patchfile -- probably Larry Wall's original patch program. So they
got rid of the behavior.

Of course, IMO, I think this behavior is good. I *want* my diff and
patch program to deal with these kinds of text files appropriately,
and so does the FSF apparently.

I just answered my own previous question: that's why Subversion
requires GNU patch. Because I bet an older 'patch' program would gag
on GNU diff's special 'no newline' output. So please don't remove
our GNU patch requirement.

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Received on Sat Oct 21 14:36:49 2006

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