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Re: Windows DLLs from Unix with minimum effort

From: Jason Curl
Subject: Re: Windows DLLs from Unix with minimum effort
Date: Fri, 2 Nov 2007 08:51:27 +0100 (CET)

> >   libtest.exe      <-- Doesn't seem to work? No idea
> >                        what this is...
> >   libtest
> >   .libs/
> >     libtest.exe    <-- Will work when "libmofo-1.dll"
> >                        is in the path, e.g. copied to
> >                        this dir.
> > 
> > Can anybody explain what libtool is doing?? It appears to do a lot of
> > nifty stuff, but I don't see any dependencies on "libmofo" from
> > "libtest.exe" in either case. I'll attach a minimal example when I'm
> > back at work tomorrow.
> It is a wrapper to allow running the uninstalled binary in the build
> tree without having to mess with PATH or LD_LIBRARY_PATH or whatever. 
> On a POSIX system this would be a shell script.  I think that in libtool
> HEAD, it won't have such a confusing name.
> > And the directory it runs from (.libs) indicates it is actually the
> > source "lt-libtest.c" that relies on a shell, so as soon as I move the
> > executable to a "virgin" computer without Cygwin, the program
> > "libtest.exe" won't work.
> You shouldn't be manually mucking about like that, you use "make
> install" to get an installed copy and that will not be a wrapper.  If
> you configured with CC="gcc -mno-cygwin" (i.e. used this "fake mingw"
> setup) then the Cygwin dependence should only be for the wrapper which
> isn't supposed to be installed or even moved out of the build directory
> for that matter.

For Posix systems I agree (and I haven't had to care until now). It's an 
unnecessary burden for w32api however, especially for users that don't have any 
kind of sane build environment. I guess I'm saying I don't know how to package 
the result so that someone on w32 can use it on a standard cmd.exe console 
without having Cygwin, etc. installed. This environment is only necessary for 
the build. Or should I revert to a different build environment? This is my 
first attempt at using Autoconf to build something for native Windows (mostly 
because I want to use it on Linux, but other colleagues of mine benefit from 
it's use on Windows).

> > I'd also like to generate .lib files (what is the .a file that is
> > generated anyway? Is that the .lib import library?)
> An import library can be named foo.lib, libfoo.a, or libfoo.dll.a; they
> are all the exact same thing just named differently.  Don't confuse the
> libfoo.a name with a static library which has the same style name but is
> a totally different thing (and that's why it's considered deprecated to
> name an import library libfoo.a, but some are still done that way, e.g.
> all of w32api.)
> Brian

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