[Fedora-packaging] Re: libtool(.la) archive policy proposal

Axel Thimm Axel.Thimm at ATrpms.net
Thu Oct 12 12:32:52 UTC 2006

On Thu, Oct 12, 2006 at 12:58:24PM +0200, Enrico Scholz wrote:
> Axel.Thimm at ATrpms.net (Axel Thimm) writes:
> > Revisting the root of evil. What exactly is wrong with not removing
> > all *.la files?
> - .la files must be shipped in main package, not in -devel

Obviously "must" is the wrong word since they are currently nuked
away. And the issue seems to be when using the information on the
dependent libraries inside which only affects *-devel files
independent whether *.la is part of the main or the *-devel file.

E.g. keep the *.la if you like in the main packge or elsewhere, the
issue is still only "bloat in BRs in *-devel". Do you agree?

> - they add untracked dependencies to the rpm packages: when B was built
>   against A which has libA.la, B will stop to work when A does not ship
>   libA.la anymore (e.g. because it uses now cmake).

It will also break when libA changes the soname, an API, add/remove
include files and the like. And changes to the build system of a
package are certainly far less often than changes to it' API/ABI, so
we can certainly live with that.

> - .la files are not required

Seems to really depend on the software generating/using them. Or from
a different viewpoint: if they really were not required (on Linux),
then why are libtool authors installing them (on Linux)? We wouldn't
be having this thread if the simple statement ".la files are not
required" would indeed hold true.

So ATM I'm still not convinced that there is any other drawback than a
couple too many BRs on *-devel packages. And IMHO that doesn't compare
to the pain and complexity we have created in having packagers
selectively judge on the necessity or not of *.la files. I just saw
yet another report on fedora-list that is induced by removing *.la
files on some packages and not all.

And to mention it again: The libtool authors are open to any
improvement that would please us. Some patches that do 95% of what we
want are already floating around or are even in production at other
Axel.Thimm at ATrpms.net
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