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Re: installable gnulib library

From: Bruno Haible
Subject: Re: installable gnulib library
Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2008 20:53:00 +0200
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Hi Gary,

> why not enhance  
> gnulib to provide a shim that sits between the system libraries and  
> client code that wants to use it without shipping (another copy) of  
> the particular parts it depends upon?

It does not take a lot of steps to do that:
  1) $ gnulib-tool --create-testdir `posix-modules`
     The 'posix-modules' script is in gnulib; it was just out of order for a
     long time.
  2) package up the testdir
  3) build and install it on your platform.
  4) Deal with config.h, i.e. rename it to 'shim-config.h' and adjust
     the generated .h files. Some C macros, like _GNU_SOURCE or __EXTENSIONS__,
     need to be put into CPPFLAGS, however.
  5) Document what to put into CPPFLAGS and what into LDFLAGS.

The problems of this approach are in the presentation / in the relations
with the community:
  - People will say that it's not complete, not understand that it's
    work in progress.
  - People will not understand that if they use it for their package,
    they may need to contribute at some point.
  - Additional API that are extensions over POSIX would likely be omitted.
    But they are also an essential part of gnulib.

and in the points that Eric mentioned:
  - gnulib is doing backward-incompatible changes now and then.
  - gnulib has some "features" modules, like 'sigpipe', which cause additional
    code to be injected into many other modules. Not everyone needs these


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