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Does dpkg-cross need to support static linking?

FTP-Master report: http://ftp-master.debian.org/~aba/la/current.txt
Squeeze release goal: http://wiki.debian.org/ReleaseGoals/LAFileRemoval
Devel discussion:

dpkg-cross preserves (but mangles) the .la files in incoming -dev
packages but Debian is working towards the removal of all .la files (or
at least the removal of all dependency_libs values which is sub-optimal
as far as dpkg-cross is concerned because if a .la file exists,
dpkg-cross will still have to mangle it for no obvious benefit
compared to just dropping it).

Debian is therefore coming around to the point where static linking is
basically unsupportable - Static linking is generally discouraged, ergo
static linking support is expendable if such support gets in the way of
more useful things, like binNMUs - which it does.

So this raises issues for dpkg-cross:

1. Can dpkg-cross prejudge the release goal and remove .la files
instead of mangling them? (Quite a few cross-build failures in Emdebian
Crush 1.0 were probably due to .la issues, especially when those
files were old / created by outdated build tools.)

2. If so, there is no point in dpkg-cross preserving the .a files
either, presumably.

3. Is static linking (outside of bespoke kernel / busybox micro
systems) of any benefit in the typical cross-build environment?

The reason to do this is:

A. It means that dpkg-cross only needs to modify the .pc file which
then makes pkg-config support a potential target for fixing properly.

B. dpkg-cross would only need to move files which makes Multiarch


Neil Williams

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