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Re: Development packages.

Stephen Frost <sfrost@snowman.net> writes:

> * Matt Brubeck (mbrubeck@cs.hmc.edu) wrote:
>> Stephen Frost wrote:
>> > We shouldn't be shipping or using static libraries.
>> Why not?  I know we shouldn't be linking to static libraries in our
>> packaged software, but having the static libraries available is
>> important for some end-users and local administrators.
> Pffft.  Honestly, I think that claim of end-users and local
> administrators using static libraries is rather dated and rarely the
> case these days.

I used a statically-linked binary just a few days ago.  I needed to
resize an NTFS partition on a newly-delivered system which came with
Windows XP.  In the event, I was able to get a statically linked
binary, copy it onto a floppy and run this after booting from a rescue

So, it's very useful for rescue situations, where you can't rely on a
whole suite of shared libs, or any installation at all.

It's also useful when you want to provide something that "just work"
with no extra dependencies.  While proprietary/commercial software was
the biggest user of this, it's also useful for free software.  What if
Joe Average would like to run my program which makes use of libstdc++,
GTK+ 2.2 and GNOME 2.4?  It's the least hassle way to achieve this.

> Regardless, we shouldn't be using them and the end
> users and local admins who actually need to link against things
> statically can figure out the dependencies.

Since nearly all -dev packages come with static libs and this is not
forbidded (it's mentioned in Policy) I won't stop using them.  I'll by
happy to stop as soon as Policy forbids/discourages it.

On a related note, I'd also be very happy if it was a requirement to
build libraries with a miniumum of "-g -ggdb -gdwarf-2", and not strip
them.  We could provide some mechanism to automatically strip
binaries, surely?

Roger Leigh

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