[XML-SIG] Preventing DLL hell is very expensive

Uche Ogbuji uche.ogbuji@fourthought.com
Sun, 02 Mar 2003 22:53:19 -0700

> Remember where the phrase "DLL hell" comes from: version skew in C libraries 
> on Windows.  Reflect that popular UNIX systems from Solaris to Linux are just 
> as notorious for ".so dependency hell".

I just wanted to add a note.

of all the OSen I've used, the one most renowned for freeing the user of "DLL 
hell" effects is AIX.  I gather this is in part because SMIT (the package 
manager) is such a draconian beast, and in part because the binary 
compatability management for libraries is extremely thorouh.  No small 
coincidence that this comes from this little company, IBM, with pots of cash 
to pay developers to maintain ridiculous number of library dependency and 
vesioning branches throughout IBM's very generous support cycle.  Look at the 
APAR/FIX log for any AIX C package, and you will be left in mesmerized awe.

The problem is that so few OSS projects have such manpower.  Of course, I 
don't know what Microsoft's excuse is ;-).  Anyway, I believe that you can 
only ever get 2 of the following:

1) A package in active development
2) Freedom from DLL hell
3) Nice modularity for integration with other subsystems (i.e. APIs of broadly 
useful granularity)

Unless you have IBM-type bucks.  Pick two, if you're lucky.  You're not going 
to get all 3.  I think PyXML offers 1 & 3.  Anyone who is not satisfied with 
that should submit IBM-type bucks to .... Well, once we know there are any 
takers, we'll figure out an address, to be sure ;-)

Uche Ogbuji                                    Fourthought, Inc.
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