A specification for pkg-config

Michał Górny mgorny at gentoo.org
Fri Sep 21 00:45:44 PDT 2012

On Wed, 19 Sep 2012 11:15:24 +0200
Tollef Fog Heen <tfheen at err.no> wrote:

> > 2. The specification seems to cover both the package file format and
> > the implementation. The file format I'm definitely interested in
> > specifying, but I'm not so interested in specing the
> > implementation. I understand you're trying to create a drop-in
> > replacement for pkg-config. I have no issue with that. However, I'm
> > really not interested in constraining the reference implementation
> > in a spec. I wouldn't want to have to bump a spec if I added a
> > command line switch or autoconf macro that someone found useful. I
> > can't speak for Tollef, but I'd only be interested in defining the
> > package format and the parts of the implementation that are vital
> > to interpreting that format. I hope you understand.
> FWIW, I agree with this: If people want to implement compatible
> implementations, that's fine, but I don't want to be restrained by it.

I think that being restrained is the main point with open development.
You shouldn't take decisions alone when there are a lot of people
affected by them, in the ways you couldn't even imagine.

> If we are going to have a spec, it should have a version number
> and .pc files should tell which spec version they are written against
> so implementations can complain if the pc file is written against
> something that's too new.

I'd say that -- to keep it simple -- the spec should have the same
version as the last pkg-config version which introduced changes to it.
To keep it simple, I'd say that the current version is 0.27 as that's
the version I based it upon.

Best regards,
Michał Górny
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