Re: Why libc6?
On Tue, Nov 25, 1997 at 04:22:02PM -0500, Carl Fink wrote:
> I'm certain this has been asked before, but since the search engine
> for the mailing list archive down, please excuse me.
> Why? Why have this enormously difficult and disruptive move from
> libc5 to libc6? I'm basically unable to install any new .deb packages
> until such time as Debian 2.0 is released, because it would appear to
> be quite difficult to upgrade to libc6 without a CD-ROM, since FTP
> upgrades are tricky over a modem connection.
> I'm sure there are advantages to the new GNU libc, but as far as I
> recall no one has explained them on this list. What advantages does
> the new but incompatible version have, to justify the effort?
>From my glibc web page (http://www.imaxx.net/~thrytis/glibc) the advantages
of glibc 2 over libc 5 and glibc 1:
Glibc is now thread safe. Functions with interfaces which prohibit a thread
safe design (such as strtok) have been reimplemented with a reentrant
counterpart. The stdio implementation in this version has been rewritten
to be really thread safe, not wrapped in locks as the libc 5 has been.
Better scheme for handing name databases
The name lookup code has been rewritten to provide a clean and extensible
way of handling different schemes.
The math library has been improved
The library should be more correct and faster for some functions.
New functions from POSIX and XPG4.2
Several new functions from these standards have been added, and some existing
functions have been improved to be closer to standards.
This library has been designed so a new incompatible libc interface should
not be needed in the future.
Reduced dependency on kernel header files
The kernel header files are almost never used for libc. This allows more
flexible changes in the kernel headers without breaking things.
Trackable bug report mechanism
Glibc uses GNATS for tracking bugs in the library. A glibcbug script
included in the library distribution provides an interface for reporting
new bugs. Users can watch the bug database using the www GNATS interface at
Header files and name space is clean
The header files and the name space are now clean. This is necessary to be
compliant with the various standards.
One source tree
The same source tree with only a handful of individual files is used for
the ports to i386, m68k, alpha, mips, sparc, and ppc (perhaps some day
soon even arm).
Glibc has been improved to take better advantage of the 64-bit Alpha
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