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Creating a partial library

From: Justin Seyster
Subject: Creating a partial library
Date: Tue, 2 Feb 2010 20:39:51 -0500

I'm working on a support framework for plug-ins, and I'm struggling to
come up with a way to compile it.  I'm leaning towards building it as
a convenience library, but there a few SNAFUs.

Each plug-in is itself a shared library.  I would like to avoid having
a second shared library that the plug-in relies on for a couple of
reasons.  Mostly, I think that the extra dependency would make it
difficult to distribute plug-ins built with the framework, but I'm
also worried that reverse dependencies in the framework would break if
there are multiple plug-ins loaded that link the framework.

I'm pretty sure that making the framework a convenience library is my
ideal solution: the plug-in author will be able to distribute a single
shared object without any non-standard dependencies.  However, I read
that Automake does not allow installing a convenience library.  I
verified that a regular static library (not specified with
noinst_LTLIBRARIES) definitely does not work: the resulting .a file is
not position independent and won't link into a plug-in.  I don't want
to use noinst_LTLIBRARIES, though, for the simple reason that I want
to be able to install the library!

Is it worth my while to figure out a hack to make a convenience
library install, or is there a better approach for linking this kind
of framework using Automake?  Thanks.

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