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Several questions about libtool

From: Stepan Kasal
Subject: Several questions about libtool
Date: Fri, 6 Jan 2012 18:21:04 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.19 (2009-01-05)


I'm sad when I hear people rant about libtool, and I would like to
know the answers to that rants.  The following bugs were, as I
supposed, known for years, but I may be wrong - perhaps they were
resolved years ago or they were never filed.

I would be very grateful if you could give me quick hints about what
is the real status of each of the issue.
(If my questions are silly, please be patient with me and help me by
referring me to the right docs.)

1) .la file always contains the recursively evaluated list of libraries.
While this is necessary for static linking and dumb dynamic linkers,
it is an issue for dyn. linkers that can do recursive resolution
(which is the case on GNU/Linux distributions for many years).
(I believe that the rule that forbids packing .la files to -dev and
-devel subpackages on Debian and Fedora (respectively), is there just
to work around this problem.)

2) People told me libtool is slow and shell has to parse huge script
just to find out that it has to call gcc twice, with and without
-fPIC.  Again, this is not about the general portability case, it is
a request for optimization on GNU/Linux platform, that they percepts
as one of the major customers of libtool.

3) Does it happen often in practice that a project builds both -fPIC
and non-pic objects, even though only one of them is going to be
used?  If yes, and if it is because of a mistake on package
maintainer's side, can something be done about it?  (warnings, changed
defaults, autodetection in automake)

        Stepan Kasal

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