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Re: installable gnulib library

From: Gary V. Vaughan
Subject: Re: installable gnulib library
Date: Sat, 27 Sep 2008 11:34:24 +0800

Hi Bruce,

On 27 Sep 2008, at 01:02, Bruce Korb wrote:
On Fri, Sep 26, 2008 at 9:25 AM, Gary V. Vaughan <address@hidden> wrote:
I have an (undoubtedly caffeine induced) idea... 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?

If we add a compile-and-install-everything-as-a-library mode to gnulib, many GNU packages could stop distributing the MiBs of autotools' generated glue, and instead go with a much lighter build system that simply depends on gnulib API semantics, and requires that gnulib be installed. For many
modern systems, the installed gnulib might turn out to be vanishingly
small... and for many old and broken systems, having just one copy of gnulib in shared memory ought to provide a nice improvement to speed and memory

Please tell me I'm crazy right now. Or at least before I waste the next few
months of my free time figuring out how to do it.

Hey Gary,

Long ago, far away and years ago, that is *precisely* the point I was making.
(Remember the autotool bake-off contest?)

I remember it well.  Code Sourcery.

 My thinking then (and now) is that
you just make your project depend upon the pre-installation of this common glue package. Glue layer not installed? Then your's won't install either.


I think some folks won't buy into it because they don't want another dependency
for their projects.  (I think that was the main objection to my
proposal for that long-ago "contest".

Really? I thought the main objection was that writing the glue layer would
take a man-decade of effort.

The thing that struck me a few days ago was that gnulib actually provides all the code that such a shim would need, only it has to be copied piece-meal into the packages that want to take advantage of it as it stands. Although it
does that very well.

Outside of the autotool and GNU communities, the vast majority of people I
encounter strongly dislike the difficulty of using autotools in client
packages, and the megabyte or two of shell scripts and m4 macros that every GNU package seems to carry around with it. Wouldn't it be great if we only
had to run that stuff *once* (when installing gnulib) and every other
command-line package that paid attention could remove all of their autotools

 Can't seem to put together the right Google search to
dredge it up again...)

I'm not sure it's still around in that form any more :)

Anyway, at least _I'd_ like to see it.  :-D

And no one is telling me I'm an idiot yet... looks like a green light to me :D

Email me:          address@hidden                        (\(\
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