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Re[3]: MSW DLLs support in libtool

From: Vadim Zeitlin
Subject: Re[3]: MSW DLLs support in libtool
Date: Wed, 10 Feb 2016 04:53:13 +0100

On Tue, 9 Feb 2016 21:29:23 -0600 (CST) Bob Friesenhahn <address@hidden> wrote:

BF> On Wed, 10 Feb 2016, Vadim Zeitlin wrote:
BF> >
BF> > Sorry but this is just not true for the MSW DLLs. If the libtool user
BF> > tries to build a DLL, you can safely assume that it will not have 
BF> > symbols. Anything else just doesn't make sense because it would always
BF> > result in an error. Again, this is different from the traditional Unix
BF> > shared libraries.
BF> Why do you say this?  Most software built using libtool still comes 
BF> from Unix type systems.

 And almost all of it wouldn't compile under MSW. I think it's reasonable
to assume that if an effort was made to port some piece of software to MSW,
it wouldn't have any undefined symbols in its DLLs.

 Of course, if you really want to just compile it and don't care whether
you get static or shared libraries, nothing prevents you from using
--disable-shared and building static libraries only. Contrast this with the
current situation when using --disable-static doesn't change anything at
all and static libraries are still being produced by libtool.

BF> Without the existing behavior it would be difficult to take a program
BF> developed on a Unix type system and just compile it under Windows.

 In practice this is never going to work for any non-trivial program.

BF> It is thought that errors are bad and successful compilation is good.

 I completely and utterly disagree with this. Silently doing the wrong
thing is by far a worse thing to do than giving a clear error indicating
what needs to be done to correct it. Especially if there is no way to
override this "smart" behaviour.

 To be blunt, libtool support for MSW looks like a hack. It has no real
logic and just blindly tries to do everything to produce something,
whatever it is. It might indeed be sufficient if you're just compiling
"Hello world" for MSW and are happy to get whatever you get with the
minimal amount of effort, but it's just not good enough for any real
software where you really do want to get your 10MB DLL and 3 1MB
applications using it instead of getting 3 10MB applications, for example.


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