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wireshark-dev: Re: [Wireshark-dev] .so and .la files

Re: [Wireshark-dev] .so and .la files

From: Eloy Paris <peloy_at_nospam>
Date: Tue Oct 05 2010 - 17:57:18 GMT
To: wireshark-dev@wireshark.org

Hi Brian,

On 10/05/2010 01:47 PM, Brian Oleksa wrote:

> I noticed in the /usr/local/lib/wireshark/plugin/1.4.0 directory that
> there is a protocol.so and a protocol.la file.
> I know the .so file is needed....but is the .la file needed..??
> The reason I asked this...is because if I want to give my dissector to
> somebody to use on their machine..I need to know if they need just the
> .so file or both (.so and .la)

Here's some in-depth information from the Debian Policy Manual (chapter
10 "Files", section 10.2 "Libraries") that may be useful:


Packages that use libtool to create and install their shared libraries
install a file containing additional metadata (ending in .la) alongside
the library. For public libraries intended for use by other packages,
these files normally should not be included in the Debian package, since
the information they include is not necessary to link with the shared
library on Debian and can add unnecessary additional dependencies to
other programs or libraries.[71] If the .la file is required for that
library (if, for instance, it's loaded via libltdl in a way that
requires that meta-information), the dependency_libs setting in the .la
file should normally be set to the empty string. If the shared library
development package has historically included the .la, it must be
retained in the development package (with dependency_libs emptied) until
all libraries that depend on it have removed or emptied dependency_libs
in their .la files to prevent linking with those other libraries using
libtool from failing.

If the .la must be included, it should be included in the development
(-dev) package, unless the library will be loaded by libtool's libltdl
library. If it is intended for use with libltdl, the .la files must go
in the run-time library package.

These requirements for handling of .la files do not apply to loadable
modules or libraries not installed in directories searched by default by
the dynamic linker. Packages installing loadable modules will frequently
need to install the .la files alongside the modules so that they can be
loaded by libltdl. dependency_libs does not need to be modified for
libraries or modules that are not installed in directories searched by
the dynamic linker by default and not intended for use by other packages."

Current Wireshark 1.4.x packages in the Debian experimental distribution
do not ship the .la files, and I verified that I can build Network
Expect, an external application that uses libwireshark services, just
fine against the respective -dev packages.

So long story short, yes, the .so is the only thing someone would need,
but if you find otherwise I'd love to hear about it.


Eloy Paris.-
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