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should one build shared libraries by default?

From: Ed Hartnett
Subject: should one build shared libraries by default?
Date: Sun, 30 Jul 2006 09:08:52 -0600
User-agent: Gnus/5.1006 (Gnus v5.10.6) Emacs/21.4 (gnu/linux)

Howdy all!

I am using autoconf/automake/libtool to build a freeware library for
earth scientists. There are many existing users, and the upcoming
release is the first to include libtool and shared library
support. Until now, it's been static all the way.

Generally I like to go with the "usual" way of doing thing with the
auto-tools, and the usual way seems to be to build shared libraries by
default, unless the user does --disable-shared.

However, this will cause everyone's existing makefiles to break. They
must either adjust the makefiles to handle shared libraries, or
provide whatever special options are needed to keep using static

I am wondering if I should make --disable-shared the default, and only
build shared libraries for users who specifically enable them.

Is there some important benefit to building shared libraries by
default which I am missing?

How have other libraries which have switched to libtool handled this



Ed Hartnett  -- address@hidden

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