Subject: Re: Time for ksh93?
To: Frederick Bruckman <>
From: =?iso-8859-1?Q?Andreas_K=E4h=E4ri?= <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 03/11/2002 17:37:08
On Sun, Mar 10, 2002 at 09:55:04PM -0600, Frederick Bruckman wrote:
> On Mon, 11 Mar 2002, Andreas Kähäri wrote:
> > Is someone working on packaging the real Korn Shell (ksh93, [1])
> > for NetBSD yet?  Or do we wait until AT&T decides to loosen its
> > licensing [2] a bit more first?
> >
> > Other free Unix-projects (Debian GNU/Linux and OpenBSD) have
> > been discussing packaging ksh93 for their respective systems,
> > and I believe that Red Hat Linux and FreeBSD already do provide
> > ksh93 one way or another (but I might be wrong).  Everybody
> > seems to be a bit itchy about the license though.
> I don't think their license is an obstacle to making
> a package. The gist of the license is 1) "We're not
> responsible", and 2) "The license has to stay with any
> derivative work". Only a heavy-hitter like AT&T would feel the
> need to to assert that they can't be sued for bugs in free
> software -- for everybody else, that goes without saying. The
> license is generally more liberal than the GPL; there's no
> requirement to redistribute the source with the derivative
> work, just the license.

There seems to be a requirement to check their web site for
any "notices".  I can't make out if this is a requirement on
the person packaging the stuff, or on the end user (but since
it's in the *source code* agreement, I assume it's only for the
person making the package).

Also, any patch must be sent to AT&T.

This seems a fair bit less liberal than the GPL...

> The suite builds out-of-the-box easily. I looked at making a package,
> but gave up, as
>   1) It doesn't look easy to build *just* ksh, and the entire
>      suite duplicates a lot of functionality in the base
>      system (and if you want the entire suite, you could just
>      follow AT&T's directions to build and install it.)

Yes I know, the thing builds even on Cygwin system (what I'm
stuck with at work) and I've built it on my NetBSD/i386 and
NetBSD/sparc systems at home as well.  That's not the point.

>   2) I really didn't like ksh93 -- I like pdksh better. Sorry. :-)

Not being able to vi-tabcomplete in ksh93 sucks, but pdksh
hasn't been updated for a very long time now (last patch was in
Jan 2001, before the release of the ksh93 source from AT&T), and
the ksh88 that it emulates sucks even more than the odd quirk in
ksh93 when you know what you're missing from ksh93...

> If you just want to try ksh93, you could certainly download the whole
> package and follow the directions. I also doubt that anyone would
> strongly object to having a NetBSD package for it, if you want to
> create one, but you could ask on tech-pkg.

I'll think a bit more and see what's happening with pdksh (I'll
query the maintainer).  I might settle on using it as I am
now, on my own systems (which is a pity since it's a wonderful

Andreas Kähäri