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#1 2021-03-27 11:41:59

jhalfmoon
Member
Registered: 2011-03-25
Posts: 4

Less breaking since update from 563 to 580

Yesterday a "pacman -Syu" updated the package "less" from 563-1 to 580-1 and now it completely breaks paging. When running the following example, using the pager garbles the output to the point of being useless:

ag --color test  /etc | less -R

A little searching shows that less went from using upstream v5.63 to v5.80 and also from using pcre to pcre2:

25ca18cf730d (heftig    2021-03-18 16:41:43 +0000  6) pkgver=580
25ca18cf730d (heftig    2021-03-18 16:41:43 +0000 21)   sh configure --prefix=/usr --sysconfdir=/etc --with-regex=pcre2

Also, less 5.80 is still in beta, as the Less homepage indicates: "less-580 has been released for BETA testing."

I could be me, but Arch packaging and releasing a beta version of such a much used tool sounds like a pretty bad idea.

My pcre versions are currently:

$ pacman -Qs pcre
local/pcre 8.44-1
    A library that implements Perl 5-style regular expressions
local/pcre2 10.36-1
    A library that implements Perl 5-style regular expressions. 2nd version

When I re-install the old version of less (563-1), everything's fine again.

Anybody else experiencing this?

Last edited by jhalfmoon (2021-03-27 11:48:00)

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#2 2021-03-27 12:18:04

loqs
Member
Registered: 2014-03-06
Posts: 13,172

Re: Less breaking since update from 563 to 580

https://github.com/archlinux/svntogit-p … 65c93f3d66 notes it was a required change for compatibility with systemd 248 which is currently in testing.

https://github.com/gwsw/less/issues/140 appears to be the upstream bug report.

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#3 2021-03-27 12:50:25

jhalfmoon
Member
Registered: 2011-03-25
Posts: 4

Re: Less breaking since update from 563 to 580

Ah yes, that upstream bug report is spot on. Thanks for the quick reply; Much appreciated.

But how in the world have we come to the point that systemd is now *requiring* updates of packages that it should have completely no dependency on whatsoever? In other words: How come systemd is now dictating which version of less we get to use? IMHO those two packages should be completely de-coupled from each other.

Maybe I'm missing some important piece of information here, that's an option I don't rule out. But requiring an update of "less" because systemd requires it sounds very wrong. Especially because it is forcing us to now have a broken package in Arch.

What's the point of releasing a package that is known to contain such a huge bug, just because it satisfies a systemd requirement? How I see it, 5.80 should be retracted, at least until this most serious bug is fixed.

NOTE: This post may sound angry. It's not meant that way. I am very interested in the rational behind the decision to release 5.80 in its beta state and the rational to have systemd require a specific version of less.

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#4 2021-03-27 16:46:13

loqs
Member
Registered: 2014-03-06
Posts: 13,172

Re: Less breaking since update from 563 to 580

jhalfmoon wrote:

But how in the world have we come to the point that systemd is now *requiring* updates of packages that it should have completely no dependency on whatsoever? In other words: How come systemd is now dictating which version of less we get to use? IMHO those two packages should be completely de-coupled from each other.

Maybe I'm missing some important piece of information here, that's an option I don't rule out. But requiring an update of "less" because systemd requires it sounds very wrong. Especially because it is forcing us to now have a broken package in Arch.

See https://github.com/systemd/systemd/blob … /NEWS#L368

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#5 2021-03-27 21:20:42

jhalfmoon
Member
Registered: 2011-03-25
Posts: 4

Re: Less breaking since update from 563 to 580

Tnx mate. I've filed a bug report, FWIW:

https://bugs.archlinux.org/task/70189

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