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Re: Ian's solution [was: What hack in ld.so?]

   Date: Sun, 31 Jan 1999 13:08:51 -0600
   From: David Engel <dlengel@home.com>

   I am the Debian and upstream maintainer of the libc5 ld.so.  Ian's
   patch will not be going in.

I think most people understand this, but I should make clear that it's
not my patch.  I assume it's from Eric Troan.  I found it in the
RedHat distribution.

   FWIW, I cringed the first time I saw what RedHat had done.  They did
   not foresee the evils of -rpath and the problems it would cause in the
   libc5/libc6 transition.

I can sympathize.  I cringed the first time I saw how the dynamic
linker had been hacked to no longer do a straight path search.  There
is some very ugly code in the binutils linker to deal with that.

I guess it's something of a standoff.  Somebody made what I consider
to be an unfortunate decision a while back, with an incomplete hack to
the dynamic linker.  Now that decision is repercussing out to other
software packages.  I accepted the repurcussions into the binutils,
overriding my personal judgement.  Alexandre doesn't want to accept
them into libtool, and I personally don't blame him.

Alexandre has said that he's willing to accept a patch to not generate
a -rpath argument for any directory listed in /etc/ld.so.conf.  It's
possible to construct cases for which this will fail--because of the
dynamic linker hack, /etc/ld.so.conf is not synonymous with the list
of directories the dynamic linker will search--but there will probably
be fewer failure cases than the current situation.  I encourage the
people who can't abide the current situation to write such a patch.

Let's not forget that this is only a temporary problem.  Programs
built using the current libtool on a current Linux system will work on
all foreseeable future Linux systems, because nobody will ever have to
make this type of unfortunate decision again.


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