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Re: SUMMARY: Re: shared library -dev package naming proposal

On Wed, Jul 27, 2005 at 08:57:51PM -0400, Stephen Frost wrote:
> * Steve Langasek (vorlon@debian.org) wrote:
> > On Wed, Jul 27, 2005 at 07:20:44PM -0400, Stephen Frost wrote:
> > > libtool is broken in this regard and needs to be fixed to survive
> > > missing files.

> > Then fix it instead of giving people bad advice.

> Do you actually have anything beyond "libtool breaks otherwise, so it
> *must* be good!"?  Here's some advice: rm *.la.  Yay, fixes the problem
> *and* doesn't require everyone to add in dependencies that end up
> pulling in hundreds of unneeded packages when trying to build something.

Dropping .la files, without also dropping .a files, will unnecessarily
complicate matters for anyone statically linking against that lib.  As long
as we still nominally support static linking, I expect that most lib
maintainers are not going to be willing to do this.

But ok, yes, that is an option; let's spell the options out completely:

- Don't ship .la files in the -dev package; don't depend on any other -dev
  packages except those whose headers you need.  This gives optimal results
  for shared linking by pruning all unnecessary build-dependencies and
  dependencies; but it also screws over anyone trying to do static linking,
  who now has to go *recursively* hunt down the package name for each of the
  library dependencies, based only on the names of the symbols exported.
  (So why would anyone ship the static libs at this point...?)
- Kill the .la files and .a files.  Drop support for static linking.  Not
  something that should be done lightly and without prior project-wide
- Leave the .la files in place; -dev packages need to depend on -dev
  packages corresponding to those runtime dependencies that are also built
  using libtool.  This is the status quo.

> Yes, let's fix libtool.  No, I don't think we should screw over anyone
> trying to do development because it's broken.


Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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