Re: [dev] Replace ranlib(1) calls?

From: Markus Wichmann <>
Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2022 06:04:52 +0200

On Sun, Jul 24, 2022 at 08:04:05PM +0200, Страхиња Радић wrote:
> On 22/07/23 11:06, Tom Schwindl wrote:
> > Again, you'd have to rely on a tool which isn't defined.
> > If a system says it's POSIX compliant, we can assume that the `-s' option
> > exists, but there is no standard which tells us whether ranlib(1) is available
> > or not.
> Standards are not the Holy Grail.

Plus there is what Georg Jellinek called the "normative force of the
factual": ranlib is de-facto standard on all UNIX variants I know of
(and I know weird ones line Cygwin and Solaris). It's a bit like
vfork(), gone but not forgotten, and every once in a blue moon something
comes along that still uses it.

On many systems, ranlib is even just implemented as a call to ar. But we
don't need to care about that. The important fact is that in practice,
ranlib is on all systems anyone has cared to use our software on so far,
and future systems are more likely to hack in a version of ranlib that
to send patches to get rid of it.

And if they decide to have ar generate a symbol table irrespective of
the "-s" option, and link ranlib to true, that is also fine.

Received on Mon Jul 25 2022 - 06:04:52 CEST

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