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bsd diff bug

From: Jason Stover
Subject: bsd diff bug
Date: Wed, 5 Oct 2005 18:24:16 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/

I would like to fix make test to handle BSD
diff, and have a question: What is the 'best' approach?
I am a new to this kind of housekeeping, so I could use
some advice.

In the test scripts, the problem appears at lines that
look like this:

        diff -B -b -w file.list - << EOF

BSD diff does not recognize the -B option.

I can think of three ways to fix this:

1. Store the diff command in a variable the shell script
can see, then tell the script to execute it. The configure script
would set the variable to 'diff -b -w' on a BSD machine and
'diff -B -b -w' on a machine with GNU diff.

2. Pass '-B' as an argument or option to the test script if the machine
has GNU diff.

3. Drop the -B (which would presumably break some tests, which would
necessitate rewriting those tests, which implies this is no fix at

Is there another, uniformly better way?

SDF Public Access UNIX System -

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