Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 3rd Aug 2007 23:09 UTC
SkyOS SkyOS beta 6762 has been released. "SkyOS Beta 6762 is now available to download directly from the Beta Center. This build features the new Viewer, a huge performance increase, 36 additional API Classes, updated libraries, a new font alpha blending method, 280+ fixed bugs including critical boot bug fixes."
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RE[7]: FAQ
by edwdig on Mon 6th Aug 2007 20:43 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: FAQ"
edwdig
Member since:
2005-08-22

Your post about binary compatibility is senseless. The disregard of it is anything else than "horrible". It doesn't matter. Next, gcc stays binary compatible a long, long, long time. It's only g++ that broke often recently.

I meant GCC in the GNU Compiler Collection sense, not in the C compiler sense. G++ breaks compatibility frequently. Once you get outside of x86, there tend to be a few platforms breaking binary compatibility with every release.

On Windows I want binary compatibility, because I would need it! On a open source operating system it's nothing more than a hindrance to evolution of the software.

I don't care about evolution of software. I want a stable platform to work on. It's not worth breaking things for every minor improvement.

Binary compatibility matters for all users. Source compatibility only matters for developers, who are vastly outnumbered by normal users. And it only matters as much as it does because a Linux system is hundreds of libraries with little to no coordination between the developers.

But now to go one step further: API/ABI compatibility on Windows as the outstanding proprietary platform to compare with, is horrible too -- talking about libraries! Most programs install their own version of the needed libs just exactly for this reason. And the mess goes so far that Windows has extra mechanisms builtin to restore overwritten librarys automatically!

Microsoft very stupidly put little in the way of version control into DLLs. They improved it in later years. The problems you're talking about are incompetent developers. They're not flaws in the system.

This wouldn't happen on a open source system, apart from your "API incompatibility" most programs manage to use the system-wide libs instead of static linkage etc.

You should pay more attention. It's really common for zlib, libpng, libssl, and a few other common libraries to be statically linked. wxWidgets is another common one to be statically linked - largely because they tend to make API changes even in point releases. It's more license issues than anything else that prevents static linking being more common.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[8]: FAQ
by Ford Prefect on Mon 6th Aug 2007 23:29 in reply to "RE[7]: FAQ"
Ford Prefect Member since:
2006-01-16

"I don't care about evolution of software. I want a stable platform to work on. It's not worth breaking things for every minor improvement.

Binary compatibility matters for all users. Source compatibility only matters for developers, who are vastly outnumbered by normal users. And it only matters as much as it does because a Linux system is hundreds of libraries with little to no coordination between the developers."

That's wrong, there is a lot of coordination going on and it is done by the distributors. If you use a common distribution like Ubuntu, you will get a stable platform that stays the same if you don't upgrade to another _release_. Users don't have to care about binary compatibility because they have distributors who release binary compatible packages.

Software which is only released in binary form is the problem. But it's the fault of that software, not of the whole ecosystem of open source which works very well in itself.

"The problems you're talking about are incompetent developers. They're not flaws in the system."

That's a common mistake. Are windows developers more incompetent than others? I doubt it. Most Windows users operate as "Administrator", are they all just incompetent? I doubt it.


"You should pay more attention. It's really common for zlib, libpng, libssl, and a few other common libraries to be statically linked."

Example. I only know Xorg which tries to remove this craft.

wxWidgets -- I wouldn't count on wxWidgets as an example of good open source software. I tried to work with it, ... well... no, thanks.


"It's more license issues than anything else that prevents static linking being more common."

Most OSS software doesn't have any license issues. And if you talk about GPL, libraries are mostly LGPL, so they can be linked to any software. There is no problem in shipping the library's blob+code alongside any other software.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[9]: FAQ
by edwdig on Tue 7th Aug 2007 02:18 in reply to "RE[8]: FAQ"
edwdig Member since:
2005-08-22

That's wrong, there is a lot of coordination going on and it is done by the distributors. If you use a common distribution like Ubuntu, you will get a stable platform that stays the same if you don't upgrade to another _release_. Users don't have to care about binary compatibility because they have distributors who release binary compatible packages.

The problem with your claim is that no distribution will ever include all the software a user will need. Take your Ubuntu example - users have to rely on Automatix to get a lot of commonly used software. Automatix floods your system with untracked binaries, leaving all the issues you complained about Windows having. There was a Slashdot discussion on this about a week ago.

The Windows DLL issues you're talking about primarily occur with cheap, junk software. You know, the stuff developed on almost no budget and sold really cheap.

As for a few examples of statically linked libraries...

Default builds of Mozilla products statically link libpng, zlib, libjpeg.

pgAdmin statically links wxWidgets. I worked on pgAdmin for a while, and can guarantee you that point releases of wxWidgets usually changed the API. Which of course is why they chose to statically link it.

OpenOffice at the very least has zlib linked in.

Reply Parent Score: 1