[Fedora-packaging] paragraph on shipping static numerical libs

Patrice Dumas pertusus at free.fr
Sun May 27 08:15:36 UTC 2007

On Sun, May 27, 2007 at 08:33:24AM +0200, Ralf Corsepius wrote:
> This all can be summarized into: 
> Some people try to achieve cross-distro packaging by linking their
> applications statically. In cases, the target distros are similar
> enough, there are chances this will work in trivial cases (such as some
> subclass of numerical applications).

The other point is that shared linking is not needed for those apps.

> IMO, 
> a) technically:
> * static linkage between Fedora packages are a maintenance nightmare

I only advocate shipping static libraries, no statically linked packages
against those libraries. These libs are for use for locally compiled 
programs, not for packages shipped with fedora. So no maintainance

> (version tracking etc.) and a security risk to fedora. As such static
> linkage in Fedora shall be avoided whenever possible.

Maybe I was not clear but I didn't advocated static linkage in fedora.
Only shipping some static libraries.

> * packaging static libs bloats the distro.

Sure, but they are in separate -static subpackages, so they bloat only
the mirrors and repos not users computers -- except if they want static

> * if distros are similar enough, similar portability between distros can
> be achieved by dynamical linkage.

My experience is that it is not true, even between Centos and fedora.

Static linkage doesn't resolve everything since today the limit of
portability is imposed by needing a 2.6.9 kernel, but it is already a
big improvement.

> * static linkage does not achieve portability, except in very trivial
> cases.

This is important in my opinion for scientists doing numerical models. 
This may not be a large part of the fedora userbase, but in my opinion 
they are users of community contributors. I won't develop extensively 
here, but in general scientists (contrary to sysadmins) tend to avoid 
participating into the free software community and complain afterward 
that everything they need is broken -- at least that's what my 
colleagues do ;-) and they are in general under-represented (and free 
riding). Another symptom of this issue is that they do fine codes but
very bad packaging in general.

> b) politically:
> * cross-distro packaging is not an objective of the Fedora project.

Even between different fedora versions and fedora and Centos?

> I don't know what you try to achieve with this posting, whether this was
> meant to be a proposal for an addition to the FPG or if you were just
> agitating your position for the n-th time.

Onr thing is certain, I am agitating my position once again because I
promised to try to state it as clearly as possible ni a way that could
be submitted for ratification in a response to Toshio. So I would
like to have it somewhere, it seems to me that it would fit in


at the end of 'Packaging Static Libraries'.


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