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Re: Development packages.

Stephen Frost <sfrost@snowman.net> writes:

> * Roger Leigh (roger@whinlatter.uklinux.net) wrote:
>> 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
>> disk.
>> 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.
> Boot Knoppix or similar from a CD.  PCs today are more often installed
> with CDs than floppies anyway.  That's really a pretty poor reason.

Consider this situation:

New PC arrives.  I only had an old Knoppix CD (freebie from UKUUG two
years ago), which didn't have ntfsutils.  I didn't have the means to
download and burn a new ISO, or the time to mess about doing it.  So
the CD was out.

I used the rescue initrd from a Fedora Core 1 CD, after downloading a
statically linked ntfsresize (from the maintainers' site) and copying
it to a floppy using Windows XP.  Boot the rescue image, and run the
statically linked binary directly from the floppy.  It worked like a

After resizing, I set up the paritions and LVM2 prior to cloning a new
install directly from the Debian unstable install of my laptop.

>> 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.
> Joe Average installs Debian which *handles* all of the dependencies.
> Come on, this isn't even a reason to keep them.

What about users who don't run Debian, or who don't run unstable.
These are very common situations, and you can't expect everyone to
install unstable just to run my program.  I also don't expect every
user to build over 30 libraries themselves.  Not everyone lives on the
bleeding edge.

> Using [static libs] as an excuse to include .la files isn't valid
> because .la files break other things.

Examples, please?

>> 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?
> This doesn't make a whole lot of sense.  I certainly hope you're not
> trying to say we should ship not-stripped *anything* by default.

Yup.  I'd like all my libs with debugging symbols by default.  Since I
spend all day (and night!) writing and debugging software, this would
make a lot of sense (for me).  Whether others would appreciate this is
another matter ;-).


Roger Leigh

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