Archive for May, 2009

Serving Two Master Libraries

I don’t mind telling you that I’m a little nervous about this business of Debian switching to EGLIBC. I know, it’s supposed to be binary compatible and it shouldn’t matter to application developers. Does that include developers of closed source binaries? In developing the Flash Player, we’ve seen problems with C library compatibility before, and that was just in trying to support a single C library across multiple distributions. So now I’m worried about subtle API or binary incompatibilities that may arise between the 2 C libraries.

So far, this is a Debian move. But that may influence other distributions. From reading various sources and bug trackers, it looks like more distributions are evaluating the idea (or perhaps just fielding questions from users who are not up to speed on the issues but who have read the headlines).

There are already enough challenges in trying to produce a single binary that runs across as many Linux distributions as possible. But who knows? Maybe this will whole episode blow over like so many audio APIs.