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Re: [Mingw-users] GCC-6.3 now available via mingw-get




> Date: Wed, 26 Jul 2017 09:27:47 -0400
> From: Earnie via MinGW-users <mingw-users@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Cc: Earnie <earnie@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> 
> > See above.  In addition, distributing such executables might mean one
> > has to make the source of the DLL available nearby, which is one more
> > hassle.  Maybe in this case it isn't so, but your question was a
> > general one.  E.g., a dependency on the libgcc DLL is a _major_
> > hassle, because you need to make the entire GCC source tarball
> > available, per the GPL.
> > 
> 
> Well the distribution of software source is a prerequisite to most of
> the open source binaries you might distribute.  Requiring the source
> distribution for a binary distribution is what GNU is about.  The
> aversion to that would be to choose to not use open source.  But I know
> you know that already so I'm stating this for those who might stumble on
> this post.  I will also state that distributing libmingex-0.dll does not
> have the GPL restriction to distribute its source as its license isn't
> covered by the GPL.

I gave a specific (though a bit extreme) example of libgcc, when using
a very small library that isn't even directly called by the program
anywhere, requires one to provide the entire multi-megabyte GCC source
tarball (and do that for every version of GCC used to build some of
the binaries).  I think you can understand why avoiding that might be
desirable.

And with some libraries (again, probably not with libmingex), you have
a good chance of getting your users into a small DLL hell, e.g., if a
library by the same name is produced by different toolchains in a way
that makes the results incompatible.  And even if they are compatible,
unpacking an archive with a DLL when there is already a DLL by that
name will scare many users, and I can understand them.

IME, linking against DLLs only makes sense when those DLLs implement
part of the program's required functionality.  Dependencies which you
"inherit" because the compiler forces this on you (e.g., like g++
forces the dependency on libstdc++) are to be avoided if you want to
allow your users easy installation and upgrades.

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