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The problem with pgk-config

From: Bob Friesenhahn
Subject: The problem with pgk-config
Date: Sat, 31 Jul 2010 16:31:44 -0500 (CDT)
User-agent: Alpine 2.01 (GSO 1266 2009-07-14)

On Sat, 31 Jul 2010, Ralf Wildenhues wrote:

I'd rather avoid (3), and I know (2) is going to be quite some work, but
should be done.  What things go wrong with pkg-config?  (Please adjust
the Subject: when replying to this, thanks!)

The main problem I find with pgk-config is that it has nothing to do with the libraries the linker actually finds. Instead it is producing an incantation based on some other paths (PATH and PKG_CONFIG_PATH). This is particularly a problem on a stable system like Solaris 10 where one wants to use some system-provided libraries, yet use more modern libraries from a different path. This may result in two pkg-config directories which contain non-dependent libraries from different vintages. The result is that the wrong libraries may be used.

Libtool works at a lower level (more similar to the linker) so that it knows the actual libraries which were used.

Regardless, pkg-config only proposes configuration information while autoconf tests to make sure that it really works.

Bob Friesenhahn
GraphicsMagick Maintainer,

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