[Python-Dev] AIX to stable, what does that take?

Michael aixtools at felt.demon.nl
Fri Oct 5 16:17:31 EDT 2018

On 05/10/2018 16:15, Michael Haubenwallner wrote:
> Hi Michael,
> being on a similar road with Gentoo Prefix, I really do appreciate
> your AIX related work!
> However, for two (not so minor) topics I've got a little different
> experience, which I think should be mentioned here for completion:
> On 10/04/2018 11:13 AM, Michael Felt wrote:
>> On 10/4/2018 10:30 AM, INADA Naoki wrote:
>>> Hello,
>>> First of all, congratulations on passing all test on AIX.
>>> As a one of core developer, I don't know anything about AIX.
>>> If my change breaks AIX build, I can't investigate what's happened.
>>> So I think we need following in devguide:
>>> * Brief description about AIX, from developer's point of view.
>> This I might be able to do. Bullet form:
>> ... I build everything myself, using xlc
>> (gcc introduces the need for a GNU RTE, e.g., glibc).
> Using gcc does *not* require to use glibc or even GNU binutils at all.
> Except for gcc's own runtime libraries, there's no need for a GNU RTE.
> In fact, in Gentoo Prefix I do use gcc as the compiler, configured to
> use AIX provided binutils (as, ld, nm, ...), with AIX libc as RTE.
Well, this is something I learned - second hand - from someone who
worked hard to make much more OSS available than I. Probably wrong then
- in how I came to my conclusion - but the few things I tried to compile
"asis" to shared libraries would not work without also a lot of the gcc
compiler libraries. While I could have bitten the bullet and just found
a way to add those I was warned that different versions of gcc need
different level of supporting files.
>> * finally, a bit deeper: while the AIX linker loader supports svr4
>> shared libraries (it is the data, not the file name) it also supports
>> having multiple shared libraries in a classic archive. So, rather that
>> .../lib/libxxx.so and .../lib64/libxxx.so AIX prefers .../lib/libxxx.a
>> with two so-called members, with same or different names. The one found
>> is not it's name, but the symbol name and size of the ABI (32-bit or 64-bit)
> While this all is true, having multiple *versions* of one shared library in
> one single file is a PITA for package managers - both human or software.
Yes, it is a necessary pain. My secret is a) do not touch /usr/lib -
leave what is as it is, and in the few situations where it must be in
/usr/lib I add/replace named archive members with my new ones - and all
the other ones get extracted, modify a flag in their respective header -
so that the linker knows they are only to be used for applications that
expect them - not for new applications.
> But fortunately, the AIX linker does support so called "Import Files",
> allowing for *filename based* shared library versioning like on Linux,
> while still allowing for both ABIs in a single library archive file.
> For example, libtool provides the --with-aix-soname={aix|svr4|both}
> configure flag since libtool-2.4.4.  Although the default will stay
> at 'aix' here, in Gentoo Prefix I do use 'svr4' only.  This actually
> is a package manager's decision, ideally for all depending packages.
> As gcc does use libtool, for more information please refer to
> https://gcc.gnu.org/install/configure.html#WithAixSoname
> But note that "Import Files" should work with xlc as well.
Actually, more detail than I really want to know. I recall the day when
a library was a collection of "static" .o files, and ranlib was nearly
always needed - Or you told the linker to link against that library
multiple times. And I recall going to my first conference where "RPC"
was the next greatest thing, and shared libraries were going to be such
a space savior - both on disk and in memory. And I was always more of a
bsd fan having schooled myself on UNIX v7, then bsd (2.9 iirc) and bsd
4.1, 4.2 (in comes tcpip) and 4.3. But I diverge :p

To return briefly to the question of what is AIX for the developer -
very flexible. You can choose your architecture and it generally, just
works. I wrote some scripts as a front-end for packaging and most
packages are a one-liner - that runs configure, make, makeinstall (using
DESTDIR) and then packaging the DESTDIR.

As far as python development and AIX goes I am open to helping others.
Been doing that for more years than I care to count. :)
> Thanks!
> /haubi/

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