On Oct 17, 2016, at 7:18 AM, Joerg Mayer <jma...@loplof.de> wrote:

> I tried to recall why building with libpcap is optional and failed.

The reasons I can see for supporting building without libpcap on UN*X are:

        1) some people might want a version of Wireshark that can read captures 
but can't capture traffic;

        2) some platforms might not have libpcap.

I'm not all that sympathetic to reason 1); I'll let those who want to defend it 
do so.

As for 2):

        1) most Linux distributions, the *BSDs, macOS, Solaris, and AIX come 
with libpcap in recent releases;

        2) libpcap can be built and installed on HP-UX and older versions of 
Solaris and AIX;

        3) it can also be built and installed on other UN*Xes - even if there's 
no native capture mechanism, where you get a "stub" version of the capture 
mechanism and don't actually get any interfaces on which to capture;

so I'm not that sympathetic to reason 2), either.

As for Windows, the Developer's Guide tells you how to install the WinPcap SDK.

So I wouldn't personally have a problem with requiring libpcap to be installed 
on UN*X and the WinPcap SDK to be installed on Windows if you want to build 

I'll let those who *would* have a problem argue in favor of their position.
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