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Re: Packaging: Where should "library interface object files" live?

From: Daniel Ruoso <daniel_at_[hidden]>
Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2024 12:28:55 -0500
So far, my expectation has been that the library will ship with the objects
produced from the interface files, and that when importing a module from a
pre-built library, the build system should produce only the BMI.

Are there any use cases that drive the other approach?


On Tue, Feb 13, 2024, 11:11 Jan Kokemüller via SG15 <sg15_at_[hidden]>

> Hi,
> let's say I'm packaging a modularized C++ library "foo" that consists of a
> module implementation unit "foo.cpp" and an importable module unit
> "foo.cppm".
> Where should the "library interface object files" live? In the
> "libfoo.{a,so}"
> I ship, or can I punt this task to the consumer, who will compile the
> importable module unit "foo.cppm" anyway (to get the BMI's)?
> With "library interface object files" I mean the object files that are
> generated by compiling the importable module unit "foo.cppm". I'm using the
> terminology from Daniela Engert's talk here:
> <https://youtu.be/nP8QcvPpGeM?t=333>
> At least with Clang, the "library interface object files" will at least
> contain
> the symbol for the "module initializer function" as laid out by the
> proposed
> updates to the Itanium ABI:
> <
> https://github.com/itanium-cxx-abi/cxx-abi/pull/144/files#diff-b803017e5afd1b6dfe35e5e0e719d895559129c35b93f056074a72928269ae23R5022-R5048
> >
> So far I had assumed from following discussions and from my own experiments
> with CMake >= 3.28 and reading Conan's plan
> (<https://blog.conan.io/2023/10/17/modules-the-packaging-story.html>)
> that the
> "library interface object files" (that contain e.g. the symbols for the
> module
> initializer functions) will live in the library artifact "libfoo.{a,so}".
> That
> way, as a consumer of that library, I can describe that library in my CMake
> build system by creating an "imported" CMake target, without having to
> build
> anything else except for the BMI's of the importable module units.
> Furthermore, I had also assumed that the P2577R2 style metadata file that
> describes the modules of a library is placed next to a library artifact
> that
> contains the "library interface object files" (including the module
> initializer
> symbols). That is also the reason I thought there always _exists_ a library
> artifact for the metadata file to be placed next to, as the library
> artifact
> will always at least contain the module initializer symbol.
> In contrast, an alternative style of packaging a modularized library is
> possible, where the library artifact does _not_ contain the "library
> interface
> object files", instead requiring the consumer to build them in addition to
> the
> BMI's. In CMake terms, users then could _not_ create an "imported" library
> target, instead having to add a "proper" library target to their build that
> "owns" the "library interface object files".
> In my mind, this alternative style creates a number of headaches for the
> build
> and packaging ecosystems as they have to cope with those additional
> libraries
> required for holding the "library interface object files". It would
> certainly
> be simpler for consumers if those symbols where "owned" by the library
> artifact
> itself.
> I stumbled across this issue as I was trying to consume the experimental
> libc++
> "std" module. libc++ chose the second approach, i.e. the module initializer
> symbols are not packaged up in any library artifact provided by libc++. In
> the
> resulting discussion on the libc++ bug tracker
> (<https://github.com/llvm/llvm-project/issues/80639>) people have
> encouraged me
> to approach SG15.
> What do you think about this issue? I'm curious about use cases for the
> alternative packaging approach. Certainly there would need to be another
> key
> like "library-contains-interface-object-files" in the metadata file so that
> users know what kind of packaging approach was used. But I hope there can
> be
> convergence on one approach so that kind of complexity could be avoided.
> -Jan
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Received on 2024-02-13 17:29:06