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What happened to latest versions of GNU Patch?

From: Antonio Diaz Diaz
Subject: What happened to latest versions of GNU Patch?
Date: Thu, 16 Mar 2006 18:05:32 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i586; en-US; rv:1.7.12) Gecko/20050923

Hello Karl.

Karl Berry wrote:
> I expect to have the patched and cleaned version of patch
Thanks for all your work.  Did you just start working on it because you
were interested, or had problems you needed to solve, or heard from the
previous maintainer, or ... ?

It all begun on 5-Feb-2006 with this message from Claudio http://lists.gnu.org/mailman/private/gnu-prog-discuss/2006q1/001046.html

I offered myself to contact the maintainers of three packages (ed, less and patch), or even fix myself the issues Claudio found on them (mainly DESTDIR support) if any of them couldn't be contacted.

Eventually we contacted the maintainers of ed and less, but we had no success contacting the patch maintainer. So, I began patching and cleaning it.

    I would like to replace it at least with `mkstemp'.

As Claudio suggests, the mkstemp gnulib module is probably the right
thing to use.  You could write address@hidden if questions/problems.

Another possibility is to use `tmpfile'. It is an ISO C-89 function, so I think it is OK to use it.

    > Freshmeat before releasing the final (stable) version. Is this OK?

We're talking about GNU patch here?  In that case, it is ok to announce
it on freshmeat, but it is more important to upload it to alpha.gnu.org
and announce it on bug-gnu-utils (I don't think patch has its own
mailing list).

Is it possible to delete files from alpha.gnu.org when they are no longer neccesary? I normally release two or three test versions before every stable version, and I don't like old test versions floating around after the stable one has been released.

By the way. Just now I have found the file patch-2.5.9.tar.gz (date 1-Jun-2004) in the directory ftp://alpha.gnu.org/gnu/diffutils/ after spending more than ten hours patching and cleaning patch-2.5.4 (the latest stable release). :-(

In fact, I am discovering some interesting facts. I copy this from the patch-2.5.9 Changelog (in reverse order):

1999-10-11  Christopher R. Gabriel  <address@hidden>
        * configure.in (VERSION): Version 2.5.5 released.
2002-05-28  Paul Eggert  <address@hidden>
        * NEWS, configure.ac (AC_INIT): Version 2.5.6 released.
        The code already assumes C89 or better, so remove K&R stuff.
2002-05-30  Paul Eggert  <address@hidden>
        * NEWS, configure.ac (AC_INIT): Version 2.5.7 released.
2002-06-02  Paul Eggert  <address@hidden>
        * NEWS, configure.ac (AC_INIT): Version 2.5.8 released.
2003-05-20  Paul Eggert  <address@hidden>
        * NEWS, configure.ac (AC_INIT): Version 2.5.9 released.

It seems I have wasted some time because no one has announced GNU patch releases for the last seven years. See http://directory.fsf.org/GNU/patch.html

I guess This finishes my relation with GNU patch.

Also, I see that Paul Eggert is listed by --version as an author.  I
suggest writing address@hidden and pointing them at your version
before releasing it anywhere.  That will reach Paul, along with Jim
Meyering who also worked on it, I believe, and other interested parties.

OK. I send copy of this message to address@hidden

Best regards,

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