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From: Rainer Deyke (rainerd_at_[hidden])
Date: 2020-03-07 05:41:38

On 06.03.20 23:42, Vinnie Falco via Boost wrote:
> I think Peter is right in this case. Library A which uses library B
> should not have an opinion on whether library B is consumed as
> header-only or as a linked library. The decision on how each library
> in a linked executable is configured should be up to the top-level
> build target (i.e. the program) and not any of the individual
> components. This is why the default for libraries which have a
> header-only configuration, should be a linkable library target, since
> it creates the least headache.

Wait, what? Linkable are a huge headache to me, to the point where I'll
seriously consider rewriting a third-party linkable library to be
header-only just to avoid having to link to them.

Problems with linkable libraries include:
   - I have to compile them, which means either messing with their
native build system, trying to get it to build on all of my platforms
using all of my cross-compile toolchains, or replacing their native
build system with my own. The latter is often easier than the former.
   - If the library has linkable libraries as dependencies, I get to do
the same thing for them, recursively.
   - I have to make sure that I'm linking to the correct version of
these libraries, i.e. not the system-wide installed versions.
   - If I need to compile multiple copies of a library with different
options, I get a combinatorial explosion of different libraries.

My library build matrix is full of red entries where I haven't been able
a particular library in a particular configuration that I need. The
green entries are often the result of days of work. On the other hand,
I've never had any trouble with header-only libraries.

Rainer Deyke (rainerd_at_[hidden])

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