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Factoring out common code from 2 programs into new library

From: David Bruce
Subject: Factoring out common code from 2 programs into new library
Date: Thu, 24 Jun 2010 20:22:33 -0500

(this is more of a general autotools/packaging question than a
specific autoconf issue - please advise if there is a better list for

We have two programs, tuxmath and tuxtype, that have a lot of code in
common via manual copying and pasting. Both programs use
autoconf/automake/gettext. As a GSoC project, we are making the
overlapping code into a shared library, libt4kcommon.  The new library
also uses autotools.

As it stands now, the "tarball" installation procedure is:
1. Unpack libt4kcommon, "./configure; make; sudo make install"
2. If needed, update /etc/ and re-run ldconfig
to make sure the path used in #1 will be recognized
3. Unpack tuxmath (or tuxtype) and do "./configure; make; sudo make install"

Of the above, #2 seems most likely to be a problem for our users.

Is there a standard way to make a single tarball (perhaps nested) that
will install both the lib and the program with a single "./configure;
make; sudo make install", and make sure the location of the lib will
be recognized by the system? Or is the above procedure about as simple
as we can expect it to be for those who install from source?

This won't be an issue for folks who get our programs via their
package manager, but it might trip up those who are willing to build
packages from source but aren't really programmers or sysadmins

Thanks for any suggestions,

David Bruce

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