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Re: The argument for reinstating --as-needed

From: Bruce Momjian <pgman(at)candle(dot)pha(dot)pa(dot)us>
To: Martijn van Oosterhout <kleptog(at)svana(dot)org>
Cc: pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: The argument for reinstating --as-needed
Date: 2005-10-29 18:47:17
Message-ID: (view raw, whole thread or download thread mbox)
Lists: pgsql-hackers
At this stage, I am thinking this is best left for 8.2.  It is
impossible for us to test it enough.


Martijn van Oosterhout wrote:
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> As some of you may remember, a patch for adding --as-needed to the GNU
> linker command line was added [1] and subsequently removed [2] under
> the mistaken assumption that it was a linker bug [3]. It isn't.
> The bug is actually in readline, in that it doesn't declare its
> dependancy on termcap/ncurses. Note: this bug was fixed back in 2002 in
> Debian (so no Debian systems are affected by this problem) but is still
> present in the latest Redhat release and probably many other places.
> I propose we add a workaround for readline and add the flag back again.
> The benefits are obvious, from 228 to 87 DT_NEEDED records across a
> normal PostgreSQL installation, and the server will no longer depend on
> readline (always an odd point). The patch is attached: it basically
> adds a reference to termcap/ncurses directly so the psql binary links
> to it. psql is the only binary that uses readline so this solves the
> problem.
> Just a quick note as to why it's not a bug in the linker. The
> --as-needed flag includes DT_NEEDED records only for libraries
> referenced by the objects. The issue is that ld removed termcap, needed
> by readline but not by psql directly.
> To see why this is not a bug, think about what the -l options are for.
> They are for resolving symbols not found in the objects you are
> linking. The linker *does not* look for the symbols needed by the
> shared libraries given. Static libraries (being sets of objects) yes,
> shared libraries no. Shared libraries have their own DT_NEEDED records
> to say what they depend on, they don't need to be checked again.
> On my Debian system where readline is configured correctly, ncurses is
> not mentioned on the link line and the linker doesn't look for it
> either. It is used at runtime though.
> Other issues:
> (a) won't this happen again with some other library? Well, unlikely.
> Obviously this can only affect libraries we list on our link line.
> Note, a library having this problem would fail autoconf tests also, so
> we'd know about it. We already have a hack in the autoconf stuff for
> readline already, I just don't think people expected it to apply to
> Redhat.
> (b) it wastes 4 bytes. Well yes, but I think the benefits outweigh the
> costs. I added it to input.c but it could be a seperate file.
> (c) an autoconf test to test for this condition. Well, I thought about
> it but the cost and effort of maintaining such a test is far higher
> than just forcing the reference.
> Have a nice day,
> [1]
> [2]
> [3]
> -- 
> Martijn van Oosterhout   <kleptog(at)svana(dot)org>
> > Patent. n. Genius is 5% inspiration and 95% perspiration. A patent is a
> > tool for doing 5% of the work and then sitting around waiting for someone
> > else to do the other 95% so you can sue them.

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  Bruce Momjian                        |
  pgman(at)candle(dot)pha(dot)pa(dot)us               |  (610) 359-1001
  +  If your life is a hard drive,     |  13 Roberts Road
  +  Christ can be your backup.        |  Newtown Square, Pennsylvania 19073

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