The end of the multiarch era?
Posted Jul 13, 2006 13:09 UTC (Thu) by kleptog
In reply to: The end of the multiarch era?
Parent article: The end of the multiarch era?
All Linux users befefit greatly because of the backward compatibility of
the kernel. You can simply upgrade your kernel without fear of breaking
your system. No such compatibility exists for many user space
applications. I'm quite sure most readers here have seen the famous glibc
missing symbol messages.
Sorry? The backward compatability of glibc is leagues ahead of the kernel's. Yes, back in 2.4 you could (and I did) upgrade without care, but these days you have to remember to upgrade hotplug, sorry, udev and any of the other programs that need simultaneous upgrades.
OTOH, glibc has backward compatability going back several versions. There are multiple versions of fdopen for example, to make sure programs get exactly the version they compiled with. The kernel doesn't even try to provide that kind of compatability.
Lastly /lib64 was a very smart choice.
The biggest problem with /lib64 is that people, rather than looking at how other archtectures had been doing it for years, went off and invented their own inflexible system. They even ignored existing solutions, see /usr/lib/i86 for storing libraries optimised for specific CPUs. /lib64 is bi-arch, not multiarch. It will hopefully go the way of the dodo to make place for true multiarch.
In that I agree with you, multiarch is the way of the future. We're just not there yet.
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