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From: Rainer Deyke (rdeyke_at_[hidden])
Date: 2021-06-11 20:17:59

On 11.06.21 16:20, Deniz Bahadir via Boost wrote:
> Am 11.06.21 um 11:17 schrieb Rainer Deyke via Boost:
>> If this functionality works the way I think does, then I think it
>> should not be used.
> And in what way do you think it works? (Honest question.)

I think it forces the users of library B to (indirectly) link to library
A, as opposed any other library that implements the interface of A. In
the worst case, it might even unnecessarily force a specific version of A.

>> Actually, the standard library is a great example of what I am talking
>> about.  A header-only library (B) should not care about the specific
>> implementation of the standard library (A) being used by the program
>> (P).  There is no link dependency from B to A.  There is a requirement
>> from B to P that P must provide /a/ implementation of the C++ standard
>> library, but B doesn't care if it is libstdc++ or libc++ or even a
>> custom standard library implementation that is part of P and not a
>> separate library at all.
> That works for the standard-library, because you can be sure that one is
> available. (Otherwise your C++ compiler would be broken.)
> However, for other libraries A there is no way to guarantee that.

You guarantee it by documenting it as a requirement for the users of B.
  The human users, not CMake.

> Of course, you need to make sure that (any) dependency A is available on
> your build machine, otherwise building could never succeed. But the
> extra burden, to prepare the build-files (aka CMakeLists.txt) of your
> program P to find and explicitly configure even indirect dependencies
> (using `find_package`, `target_link_libraries`,
> `target_include_directories` etc.) is not to be underestimated.
> For a complex dependency-hierarchy this can become a nightmare, in
> particular if you need to find out in what order to process the
> individual build-files (`add_subdirectories`, `find_package` etc.).

In order to build P, you need to build the specific versions of all of
the libraries that P requires, with the specific build settings that P
requires. The build process should never pick up random library
versions found in system directories. Program P must be able to say
"use this modified version of libpng instead of the upstream version",
"use LibreSSL instead of OpenSSL", and "don't use zlib at all, I'll
provide my own version of the zlib functions".

Rainer Deyke (rainerd_at_[hidden])

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