On Thursday, 14 April 2016 at 17:46:55 UTC, Johannes Pfau wrote:
[...]

(1) Interface files

We have .di interface files as a replacement for C/C++ headers (although the .di extension is only a convention, you can also use the .d extension). These files do not contain function bodies, but they still need the complete source code for templates. The compilers can generate interface files from normal source code.

https://dlang.org/dmd-linux.html#interface-files

Looks like a pretty good choice for handling the interface-with-library issue.

OSS projects do not use interface files though: It prevents inlining of functions and there's no real benefit for OSS projects. Interface files are (theoretically) useful for closed source libraries if you don't want to ship the source code.

I think those would also be useful for FLOSS projects, if you ship a compiled binary and don't want to recompile the code. This is the case for example for very huge projects which take long to compile (think in WebKit or Eigen3 dimensions), or for Linux distributions which want to separate as much code as possible and prevent code duplication and statically linked stuff to make security uploads easier and faster.

(2) Linking against installed libraries

The compilers can of course link against pre-compiled D libraries. IIRC dub does not have integrated support for this. The real problem is the D compilers are not ABI compatible.

Urgh...

If you built a library with GDC you can't use it with LDC or DMD. This is one reason why dub compiles everything from source. (Even different frontend versions can sometimes break ABI compatibility).

Is there any way this can be fixed? https://dlang.org/spec/abi.html gave me the impression D has a defined ABI the compilers adhere too (which would be a great advantage over C++). Fixing this would be pretty useful, not only for the distro usecase, I think.

Thanks for the explanations, this is useful to know and helps me to work around some of the issues short-term (long-term we would really need a solution for these issues, since this will become a huge issue if/when more D code makes it into distros).

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