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Re: libltdl and Windows

From: Bob Friesenhahn
Subject: Re: libltdl and Windows
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2004 17:09:36 -0500 (CDT)

On Wed, 29 Sep 2004, Howard Chu wrote:

Bob Friesenhahn wrote:
Currently libltdl will attempt to load any file you request it to (and some you did not) under Windows. Libltdl is currently trying to load .dll.a files when it loads a .la file. This causes problems.

While there are valid reasons for *Windows* programmers to load .exe files and possibly some other types, it doesn't seem to me that libtool (the *portable* library/loader tool) should encourage loading anything but DLLs so attempting to load anything but a DLL should fail. Does anyone know of a reason that libtool should be willing to load anything but DLLs?

Thinking out loud ... not all DLLs are saved with a ".DLL" suffix. But as far as libltdl goes, processing the contents of a .la file, I think it's perfectly reasonable to exclude anything with a ".a" suffix. When asked to explicitly load a non-".la" file though, it should just load whatever was requested.

Are there any standard Windows DLLs which do not use the .dll suffix? Can you think of any case where *portable* software would need to load a DLL which lacks a suffix or uses a suffix other than .dll?

The reason why I ask is that libtool and libltdl are primarily portability tools. It seems wrong to encourage programs running under Windows to use libltdl for a purpose it is not intended for.

It seems to me that if a Windows program wants to do a Windows-specific thing related to loading a file (e.g. loading a .exe file or a resource file) that the Windows program should use LoadLibrary(). LoadLibrary() is pretty easy to use.

Libtool already has a history of attempting to prevent non-portable behavior.

Bob Friesenhahn

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