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Re: MBF: Getting rid of unneeded *.la / emptying dependency_libs

On Mon, Apr 04, 2011 at 07:33:24PM +0100, Neil Williams wrote:
> > >> Lintian already checks that *.la files don't contain the problematic
> > >> dependency_libs setting.

> > This apparently just isn't true.  I could have sworn that we had a check,
> > but we apparently do not.  We definitely should.  That's probably why
> > there are so many problems; I suspect a lot of them would go away if there
> > were a Lintian check.

> As outlined previously, this does need to be done in a fairly strict
> sequence which is external to the package. It might be hard for lintian
> to make this into an error for all packages. 

> Many packages (all those in the list with depended-on) must not touch
> their .la files at this stage - including the dependency_libs listing.

That's not correct.  It is safe for any package to clear out the
dependency_libs field of any .la file, as far as the OS is concerned.  It is
a (rather intractable) upstream bug in libtool that it recurses these .la
files at all at build time when doing dynamic linking on Linux, and the only
difference between a populated and an empty dependency_libs field for a
package build is whether or not you get a build failure because a referenced
.la file is missing.

Now, removing this information will impact *static* linking using libtool;
but that's already largely broken due to the preceding dependency_libs
removals in the archive, and the number of packages doing static linking in
Debian can be counted on one hand - none of them using libtool AFAIK.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek@ubuntu.com                                     vorlon@debian.org

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