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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:

Thread safe 
  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. 

Stable interface 
  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). 

64-bit clean 
  Glibc has been improved to take better advantage of the 64-bit Alpha


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