Libtool / autoconf is evil

Alan DeKok aland at
Fri Apr 30 11:11:45 CEST 2010

Josip Rodin wrote:
> Ah, karmic moved on from LTDL 3. Then you can try moving to the freeradius
> package in Debian squeeze which depends on libltdl7.


  For 2.2.0, I'm looking to replace libtool, autoconf, and libltdl.
I've had too many problems with them over the years, and I've pretty
much had it with the level of complexity that they add.

  They have magic undocumented interactions, new versions are *silently*
incompatible with old versions.

  I've never regretted avoiding automake.  So getting rid of the other
pieces is looking like a good idea, too.

  It turns out that a plain dlopen() pretty well on most modern systems.
 If you're not on a modern system... maybe libltdl will work: good luck!

  Once you don't need libltdl, libtool becomes less useful.  The Apache
project has a program "jlibtool" which works pretty darned well on
modern systems once a few hacks are added.  As a bonus, builds take 1/4
of the time!

  Then moving to a non-recursive "make" simplifies the build even more.

  And getting rid of autoconf becomes easier when the configure checks
are integrated into the non-recursive "make" system.

  Alan DeKok.

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