[aur-general] New bc

Eli Schwartz eschwartz at archlinux.org
Thu Apr 18 00:37:55 UTC 2019

On 4/17/19 7:36 PM, Yzena Tech via aur-general wrote:
> Hello,
> I am the author of a new implementation of POSIX bc. (
> https://github.com/gavinhoward/bc) It has all GNU extensions, so it can be
> used to build the Linux kernel. In fact, it can be a drop-in replacement
> for the GNU bc.
> While I believe that my bc is robust enough to be used as the default bc on
> Arch, I am under no illusion that that will happen right away, if at all.
> Instead, I have made a PKGBUILD (attached) for my bc as an alternative. It
> installs alongside the GNU bc without problem, since it is renamed as
> "bc-gh".
> This also includes a dc under "dc-gh".
> Would there be interest in adding my bc as an Arch package?

Well, any Dev/TU can add a new package if they are interested in it. I
cannot speak for the bc maintainer about whether they want to switch
implementations, though. They may just decide that the GNU edition is
good enough that there's no compelling reason to switch.

Perhaps you could describe any differences between the two that would
make a person inclined to choose one over the other? Is yours bigger or
smaller? Does it run faster in average working conditions? Yours seems
to not depend on readline, which GNU bc does -- is it feature-comparable
on its own? (I guess this one would not need to be rebuilt in tandem
with readline, then.)

At any rate, it looks like a neat project, and I encourage you to submit
it to the AUR in order to help people trial it out more conveniently.
Your PKGBUILD looks pretty good, although I do have two comments:

- Why does the url reference the GNU bc webpage? I would recommend using
  your github repository as the url, unless you have set up another
  webpage e.g. Github Pages or something.
- The downloaded source filename will be bc-${pkgver}.tar.xz, which may
  clash with downloaded sources for GNU bc, if someone has built both
  and used a shared $SRCDEST. Therefore I would advise using a renamed
  source like such:



Aside: this is the same bc that is now providing the bc implementation
in recent versions of busybox, isn't it? Nice work!

Eli Schwartz
Bug Wrangler and Trusted User

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