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Re: [EXTERNAL] Re: Q: library dependencies

From: John Calcote
Subject: Re: [EXTERNAL] Re: Q: library dependencies
Date: Fri, 25 Sep 2020 11:04:11 -0600

Hi Bob,

On Fri, Sep 25, 2020 at 10:45 AM Bob Friesenhahn <> wrote:
On Fri, 25 Sep 2020, Oleg Smolsky wrote:

> Well, AFAIK any well-formed .a file (an archive) is a static lib. And these
> can be passed to the linker. Are you saying that libtool extracts the
> individual .o files instead passing -lfoo (for libfoo.a)?

Exactly!  It might as well be a tar file except that the 'ar' archiver
knows how to add/update/remove files from it and that is not possible
with a tar file.  The ability to do incremental updates of the archive
file is important as objects are built/rebuilt.  The 'make' program
itself already understands archive files.

I did not know this about libtool and convenience libraries. Do you have any historical notion of why this was done? I ask because this sort of behaviour total defeats the linker's ability to discard unused objects, does it not?


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