Subject: Re: replacement for bc(1), dc(1), diff(1), and diff(3)
To: None <>
From: Igor Sobrado <>
List: tech-userlevel
Date: 04/17/2005 12:49:39
Hello again!

Sorry, I stopped receiving this thread on march 28.  I am not a member
of the tech-userlevel mailing list.  But I found today other messages
related with this thread when looking for related information.

Nice to see that there is some work on bc(1) and dc(1)... and that
OpenBSD's dc(1) is not performing so bad from a POSIX point of view.
I hope that work on a replacement for the commands currently being
used will continue.  I am very glad with OpenBSD's ones and I am
looking for the best for NetBSD too.

OTOH, what is the current status of the BSD replacement for grep(1)?

What about diff(1) and diff3(1)?  Briefly... will the diffutils
be replaced?  Again, OpenBSD's ones look nicer.  BTW, when I submitted
the first message on this thread I did a mistake in the subject,
it should be diff3(1) instead of diff(3).

What about spell(1)?  Using lexigraphically sorted files is a good
improvement.  As the dictionary files are sorted in the same way as
in look(1) ---that is currently available in NetBSD--- the same
dictionary files can be used, though.  I think that spell(1) is
a very important command for any Unix or Unix-like system...
most of us recall the AT&T DWB.  :)

I really want to spend some time helping on these issues, if it is
possible at all.  IMHO, sharing that code (bc(1), dc(1), diff(1),
diff3(1), spell(1), ...) with OpenBSD will greatly improve both
operating systems.  I am not sure about the current status of
the replacement for grep(1).

It is not a "political" or licensing-related issue.  I think that
these BSD commands are better from a technical point of view (of course,
these commands are NOT perfect!) and sharing code will greatly improve
both operating systems.  It was called "cross pollination" by Luke
Mewburn; I call it simply "synergy".