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Re: Bug#359662: libpcre3-dev doesn't install libpcre.pc, so pkg-config can't find libpcre

This one time, at band camp, Andreas Metzler said:
> > Like the subject says: The file libpcre.pc isn't installed (though it's
> > generated during the build), so any package searching for libpcre via
> > pkg-config can't find it even if the development package is installed.
> [...]
> Hello,
> why is this severity important, sounds like wishlist to me.
> Is it actually a good thing to ship the pc-file, therefore suggesting
> to actually use pkg-config for finding pcre? We have done well
> without using it for pcre for three major releases, and I seem to
> recall that pkg-config is still a major source for unneeded linking
> against indirect dependencies, mainly due to #340904.

First, yes the bug soundss like a wishlist bug to me.

Second, pkg-config _can_ cause unnecessary linkages, but only if the pc
file has the worng information in it, which would be a bug in itself.
There are fields for libraries or extra include paths that are needed
for dynamic linking, and the same for static linking.  the extra linking
you are referring to is most likely caused by people putting static link
information in the fields designed for dynamic linking.

In and of itself, pkg-config seems like a pretty reasonable thing - it's
just mostly done poorly.
|   ,''`.                                            Stephen Gran |
|  : :' :                                        sgran@debian.org |
|  `. `'                        Debian user, admin, and developer |
|    `-                                     http://www.debian.org |

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