On Sun, 21 Nov 2021, Alex Ameen wrote:

Overall I think we're on the same page. I understand that `libtool' is ultimately intended to provide cross-platform consistency as a portability wrapper around each platform's various compilers, linkers, and loaders. It is certainly not my intention to promote a specific tool or platform over another.

I am glad that our new maintainer is philosophically on the same page and also has excellent skills.

I think that (similar to the influence of GNU/FSF philosophies on software development) libtool should help guide application developers to to use the most portable approaches while achieving their own objectives. From this standpoint, libtool (and Autotools in general) are not just 'tools' (like 'ld') but help guide users (developers) so that if they follow guidelines, and what the tools intend to promote, their applications are most likely to be portable and still work well.

If the development/porting problem is looked at using Venn diagrams, then there would be a proportion of features/solutions in common amongst modern targets and those should be the features/solutions which are promoted by Autotools. In some cases the description of what is wanted can be at a high enough level that the desired low-level behavior can be accomplished entirely differently on different targets (because of how they work).

In Autotools, the above has worked well, although there have been many complaints over the years about libtool behavior regarding explicit dependencies (via ".la" files) whereas leveraging implicit dependencies are usually prefered by distribution maintainers.

Bob Friesenhahn
bfrie...@simple.dallas.tx.us, http://www.simplesystems.org/users/bfriesen/
GraphicsMagick Maintainer,    http://www.GraphicsMagick.org/
Public Key,     http://www.simplesystems.org/users/bfriesen/public-key.txt

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