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Re: Checking for a library ... different ways ...

From: Ralf Wildenhues
Subject: Re: Checking for a library ... different ways ...
Date: Sun, 26 Oct 2008 10:00:50 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.18 (2008-05-17)

Hello Michel, Matěj,

* Matěj Týč wrote on Thu, Oct 23, 2008 at 04:13:49PM CEST:
> >
> Adding to that the check could be implemented in many different ways :
> > an autoconf macro, calling a script (sdl-config for example), using
> > pkgconfig...
> Stick with AC_CHECK_LIBS, see reasons below.

There is that, and the havelib module from gnulib, and pkg-config.
All three serve slightly different purposes, unfortunately.

> > Side question : a good distro could enforce that each library will
> > provide a pkgconfig file for example, or at least a .m4 file ?

In the simplest case, nothing is needed.  pkg-config files usually
provide enough information for a lot of common cases.  An .m4 file
can provide even more fine-grained checks, e.g., for version-related
interdependencies of multiple packages or so.

If you are the package author in this case, one of the biggest things
you can do to help your users: provide some way to check for your
library, promote it, and stick with it.  But even more importantly:
take care that you keep interface compatibility.  A stable API avoids
lots of hassle.


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