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Re: -rpath with libtool and Debian Linux

On Jan 27, 1999, Ben Gertzfield <che@debian.org> wrote:

> I've never understood what the .la scripts are for.

They contain inter-library dependency information, the location and
the name of the actual library, and any additional run-time paths
needed for the library dependencies.  libtool (1.2d) is able to link
with an installed .la file, meaning that it will select the
appropriate switches to link the library, its dependencies and its
run-time paths into the program or libtool library being linked.

.la files are also used by libltdl, a portable dlopening library that
is available in the current libtool CVS tree, and that will be
released with libtool 1.3.  libltdl will use the .la file to find out
the pathname of the file to be dlopened, as well as any dependencies
that must be dlopened before the library.

It is possible that libtool 1.3 will be able to find and use .la files
even when -L and -l switches are used to refer to it (currently it
requires the pathname of the .la file).

> With Debian and Red Hat, it's totally the opposite. Moving libraries
> around is what leads to upgrades being possible.

Then why do you find so much trouble with it?

> Totally agreed. You are worrying just a bit too much about this,
> though -- we don't need to worry about a switch that has to decide
> WHEN to disable -rpath, just a switch that understands, "Okay, the
> builder knows what he's talking about, no -rpath is fine with me".

In this case, you already have the suggestion of the ld wrapper
script, right? :-)

The point is that, if we support this flag, it must be supported in a
portable way, otherwise GNU/Linux developers may feel inclined to
enable it by default in the packages they maintain, and this will
result in their packages *having* to be installed with
--prefix=/usr/local, and even then, they will only work on GNU/Linux.
I want to avoid this situation at all costs.

Alexandre Oliva  http://www.dcc.unicamp.br/~oliva  aoliva@{acm.org}
Universidade Estadual de Campinas, SP, Brasil

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