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Re: groff 1.23.0.rc4 on AIX

From: G. Branden Robinson
Subject: Re: groff 1.23.0.rc4 on AIX
Date: Sun, 16 Apr 2023 01:34:14 -0500

Hi Bruno,

At 2023-04-15T18:36:24-0500, G. Branden Robinson wrote:
> I'll take that victory.  The next one looks like a harder battle...
> > Now, the build fails like this:
> > 
> > $ gmake V=1
> > gmake  all-am
> > gmake[1]: Entering directory '/home/haible/groff-1.23.0.rc4/build-64-xlc'
> > xlc -q64 -qthreaded -qtls  -g  -L/home/haible/prefix64/lib -o gxditview 
> > src/devices/xditview/gxditview-device.o 
> > src/devices/xditview/gxditview-draw.o src/devices/xditview/gxditview-Dvi.o 
> > src/devices/xditview/gxditview-font.o src/devices/xditview/gxditview-lex.o 
> > src/devices/xditview/gxditview-page.o 
> > src/devices/xditview/gxditview-parse.o 
> > src/devices/xditview/gxditview-xditview.o   -lSM -lICE -lXaw -lXmu -lXt 
> > -lX11  -lm libxutil.a lib/libgnu.a 
> > ld: 0711-317 ERROR: Undefined symbol: .XpmReadFileToPixmap
> > ld: 0711-317 ERROR: Undefined symbol: .XShapeCombineMask
> > ld: 0711-317 ERROR: Undefined symbol: .XShapeQueryExtension
> Argh!
> > ld: 0711-345 Use the -bloadmap or -bnoquiet option to obtain more 
> > information.
> > Makefile:6843: recipe for target 'gxditview' failed
> > gmake[1]: *** [gxditview] Error 8
> > 
> > Hmm. In the 'configure' output I see two lines
> > 
> >   checking for Xaw library and header files... yes
> >   checking for Xmu library and header files... yes
> > 
> > Should there also be a line
> > 
> >   checking for Xpm library and header files...
> > 
> > ?

Old neural pathways are starting to light up again.

I question whether there should in fact be any "checking for Xpm"
configuration test in groff for the Xpm library or for the SHAPE
extension client library interface (which is in Xext).

The reason is that the groff code doesn't use these interfaces or
symbols.  gxditview should link and run just fine on a libXpm-free
system with no SHAPE extension support (client- _or_ server-side).

It sounds like one of AIX's versions of the standard X11 libraries links
to these (my money's on Xaw, a popular site for vendor extensions since
its defaults are so minimalistic and ugly).

I don't know anything about how linking on AIX works.  I'm vaguely aware
that, on many Unix systems historically, shared objects and dynamic
linking _don't_ work all that well.  I gather libtool is the GNU
solution to this problem.  But groff doesn't use libtool.

Another solution, albeit one that is GNU/Linux-centric as far as I know,
is pkg-config.  That's handy and easy to use, but...not available on

Unless you have an Automake-friendly suggestion for how to easily get
AIX to report dependencies of its own X libraries, I propose to make
this another caveat: on AIX, you must build "--without-x".

Any advice?


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