Distributing static libraries

Felipe Sateler fsateler at debian.org
Fri Aug 12 03:40:14 UTC 2011

On Thu, Aug 11, 2011 at 22:29, Andres Mejia <mcitadel at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Aug 11, 2011 at 3:46 AM, Fabian Greffrath <fabian at greffrath.com> wrote:
>> Am 11.08.2011 05:22, schrieb Andres Mejia:
>>> I have seen a commit with mp4v2 that disables building of the static
>>> library. Though I know binaries in Debian are normally linked with
>>> shared libraries, distributing the static library is beneficial to
>>> users with different requirements for software they distribute.
>>> I have heard of various use cases involving distribution of stand
>>> alone binaries (no dependent shared libraries).
>> The problem with this specific library is its license, which prohibits
>> linking against about 99% of packages that come into consideration to make
>> use of it. So most probably any application that statically links against it
>> commits a license violation. :/
>> Therefore, many applications fall back to dlopen() the library, in which
>> case only the header files (if at all) are required.
>> A similar case is libdvdcss. All applications that I know to make use of it
>> try to dlopen() it instead of explicit linking, because they know that this
>> library is widely considered undistributable - though for other reasons.
>>  - Fabian
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> Ok, I see you're considering to licensing issues with mp4v2. I was
> referring to the issue of simply providing static libraries in general
> (not just with mp4v2).
> To state what I've mentioned another way, we shouldn't disable
> distribution of static libraries simply because packages in Debian
> won't link to them.

Actually, I think static libraries should be disabled by default and
enabled when needed. They provide zero value for most. Those who need
it can build the static libraries themselves. And they probably
will/should anyways, since static libs will probably be used in some
rare context.


Felipe Sateler

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