[mapserver-dev] libtool usage

Stephen Woodbridge woodbri at swoodbridge.com
Mon Dec 19 10:54:39 EST 2011

On 12/19/2011 10:03 AM, Daniel Morissette wrote:
> On 11-12-18 9:26 AM, thomas bonfort wrote:
>> While trying to build mapserver as a shared library, it occured to me
>> that our build-process is rather fragile. (For the curious this is
>> ongoing work on making a mapserver apache module, which requires a
>> clean+crossplatform way of loading the libmapserv shared library into
>> the httpd server).
>> Is there a reason we are not using libtool for managing the
>> compilation tasks for us?
>> I know gdal can be configured to build with or without libtool, is
>> there a reason to maintain both build scripts?
> Hi Thomas,
> My little experience with GDAL's libtool builds over the years is that
> there is some magic behind libtool that doesn't work on every platform
> (or with unusual configurations), and when it doesn't work it is nearly
> impossible to troubleshoot for non-libtool experts and then we end up
> falling back on buildibg without libtool which just works.
> I admit that I do not have a clear idea of the real issues and whether
> they are fixable, but I have had to switch back to non-libtool builds of
> GDAL in the past when libtool builds would not work... so I am hesitant
> to support a complete switch to libtools, but then I also realize that I
> should not prevent this kind of move forward without some good reasons.
> If we make that switch, are you prepared to support libtool related
> issues on all platforms and configurations that used to work without it?
> (That's a big commitment)
> Maybe Frank or others involved in the GDAL libtool build support could
> share their experience?

Is there anything in the refactoring that you need to do that would 
prevent us from supporting both libtool and non-libtool builds? Like

./configure --with-libtool=[yes|no]

I admit that I'm asking out ignorance as to the effort to do this, but 
as Daniel points out when it does not work he reverted to non-libtools 
builds, so it seems prudent to maintain support for that regardless.

I would agree with the fact that libtool is much more complicated behind 
the scenes which is not a problem in and of itself as long as things work.

On the other side, I think being able to support mapserver as an apache 
module and as a clean shared library has a lot of benefit to the project.

-Steve W

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