Simple question about ncurses and ncursesw

Scott Haneda talklists at
Mon Mar 15 08:49:12 PDT 2010

On Mar 15, 2010, at 12:51 AM, Ryan Schmidt <ryandesign at>  

> On Mar 14, 2010, at 08:49, Tabitha McNerney wrote:
>> On Tue, Mar 9, 2010 at 11:48 PM, Rainer Müller wrote:
>>> On 2010-03-05 19:09 , Tabitha McNerney wrote:
>>>> I have what I hope is a simple question about ncurses and  
>>>> ncursesw. I'm
>>>> essentially wondering what the difference is between these two  
>>>> ports? I
>>>> noticed their checksums (for the source are the same), so why not  
>>>> just
>>>> combine them into one port?
>>> ncursesw provides wide-character support. But usually we want  
>>> both, wide
>>> and narrow characters, thus we need to compile the library twice  
>>> with
>>> different configure flags (--enable-widec for ncursesw). A  
>>> Portfile can
>>> only handle one run of configure/make/make install, therefore we  
>>> need
>>> two Portfiles for this.
>> Thank you for answering this question. It seems that this is a  
>> restriction imposed based on how MacPorts were designed. If someone  
>> were to build ncurses with both wide and narrow characters from the  
>> same single source tarball, would they also have to do something  
>> similar with ./configure that is analogous to MacPorts treatment of  
>> two separate port files, or would it be feasible to just do this  
>> all at once?
> Based on what Rainer said, it sounds like you need to configure,  
> build, and install twice: once each for narrow and wide character  
> support.

I think it will be rare enough that MacPorts needs to accomodate this  
scenario. Rare enough it would not be worth a change to the MP base to  
add multiple compile stages.

If this is common with ncurses, why would ncurses simply not go  
forward with a flag of --with-wide-and-narrow or whatever.

Perhaps that is where the bug report needs to be focused? Is there any  
reason that would be objectionable?

How does this even work? If I build software x with foo support and  
then build it again with widefoo support, the foo version will be  
overwritten and I end up with just foowide. Or, I otherwise end up  
with the last options of which I installed. Installing by hand has  
always meant a new install, not an appending ofan existing install,  
sans config files perhaps. Aside from making a second installation  

I suppose a config file to enable wide character support would be  
another option.

I'm curious why this is this way from an ncurses perspective? I seem  
to recall that ncurses is one that takes a long while to install no  

Scott * If you contact me off list replace talklists@ with scott@ *  
(Sent from a mobile device) 

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