[Distutils] Question about DOS/Windows static libs

Greg Ward gward@python.net
Mon, 6 Mar 2000 21:34:04 -0500

> So: is this true?  Does a static library under Windows need to be built
> with library and library search directories?  Or is this an unnecessary
> appendage that can be jettisoned?

[Jim Ahlstrom]
> AFAIK, Windows is just like Unix.  You specify a list of libraries to
> use to find undefined symbols.  In Unix you add "-lsomething" to the
> linker
> command line, and in
> Windows you add "something.lib" to a list.

No no, I'm talking about *building* a library, not about using one.
I.e. when you bundle *.obj together into foo.lib, do you need to tell
the tool-that-creates-foo.lib what libraries the code in *.obj depends
on and where to find those libraries?

Under Unix, it goes like this:

  cc -c foo1.c foo2.c foo3.c     # create *.o
  ar -cr libfoo.a foo1.o foo2.o foo3.o

and with MSVC++'s command-line interface, I gather it's something
sorta-kinda-vaguely like this:

  cl /c /Tcfoo1.c /Fofoo1.obj  # repeat three times
  link foo1.obj foo2.obj foo3.obj /OUT:foo.lib

HOWEVER, the code that does this in Distutils adds other libraries to
this mix.  My question: is this necessary?  Does the MSVC++ linker need
to know how to resolve symbols in *.obj *when it bundles them together
into a static library*?

If so, this affects the CCompiler interface; currently, MSVCCompiler and
UnixCCompiler are inconsistent, and I want to fix that.  The question
is, do I add unused 'libraries' and 'library_dirs' args to the
UnixCCompiler link-a-static-lib method, or do I remove them from the
corresponding MSVCCompiler method?

Perry Stoll, author of the original code, seems to think that removing
the library options from MSVCCompiler's 'link_static_lib()' is OK, so
that's what I'm inclined to do.  I just want to make sure I'm not
misunderstanding what it means to build a static library with MSVC++.

Greg Ward - Unix weenie                                 gward@python.net
BE ALERT!!!!  (The world needs more lerts ...)