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Re: [gs-devel] ghostscript-8.13rc1 build feedback

From: Nelson H. F. Beebe
Subject: Re: [gs-devel] ghostscript-8.13rc1 build feedback
Date: Mon, 26 Jan 2004 18:19:25 -0700 (MST)

Ralph Giles writes:

>> If you're installing that much stuff in an odd location,
>> can't you just configure your system to look there by default?

(1) It isn't an `odd location'; /usr/local is a GNU standard, and widely
    adhered to.

(2) While GNU/Linux offers /etc/ld.so.conf to define the library
    directory search order, that file (and its cache) have to be
    updated on every platform.  Also, the cache gets out of date,
    since ld isn't clever enough to compare the cache with the
    ld.so.conf file and update it automatically.

(3) The same objections apply to a similar feature in Sun Solaris: it
    is a huge maintenance headache, and we therefore refuse to use it.

(4) No other systems than GNU/Linux and Solaris offer such a
    capability, and I have, and support, most of them.
(5) LD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variables are no solution either; they
    have to be set, and maintained, for each user: we have 14,000+

(6) As Ralph noted, it is inconsistent for GNU/Linux to search
    /usr/local/include for header files, but not /usr/local/lib for

Fortunately, I have automated build procedures which handle the
problem, but most end users and small-system maintainers don't.  That
is why I'd like to see -I$(prefix)/include and -L$(prefix)/lib flags
provided by default, and where applicable, also -R$(prefix)/lib or
-Wl,-rpath=$(prefix)/lib, so that the executable records the link-time
location of any shared libraries that it needs.  Otherwise, it won't
run unless LD_LIBRARY_PATH is set, but that is unworkable too.

These problems shouldn't exist, but they do, and in millions of Unix
systems, so as software developers, it is our job to make our builds
work around the problems at end-user sites.

- Nelson H. F. Beebe                    Tel: +1 801 581 5254                  -
- University of Utah                    FAX: +1 801 581 4148                  -
- Department of Mathematics, 110 LCB    Internet e-mail: address@hidden  -
- 155 S 1400 E RM 233                       address@hidden  address@hidden -
- Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0090, USA    URL: http://www.math.utah.edu/~beebe  -

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