[texworks] compiling texworks with static poppler and hunspell

Karl Berry karl at freefriends.org
Thu Jun 4 23:17:57 CEST 2009

    I guess the question is whether it's reasonable to assume that things  
    like glib, gconf, gobject, etc are "standard" on a modern graphical  
    desktop system. 

It's reasonable to assume the functionality of those libraries is

The devil is in the details: different distros chop up the shared
libraries differently (an "X"-dependent library on Debian will have
different dependencies depending on the Debian release, let alone Debian
vs. Fedora vs. *BSD ...).  And of course every shared lib has potential
version issues.

    Presumably it would be possible to build Qt with only static
    versions of these available(?)  and then you wouldn't end up with
    these dependencies, but I have no idea whether it's really

Merely linking libstdc++ statically is a major hassle for us (but
absolutely critical to distributing usable binaries).  I cannot fathom
trying to statically link all the potentially problematic things in that
list (e.g., pcre, expat, z, glib, ...) while not statically linking the
things that must be dynamic (fontconfig, libc, pthread?, X?).  I doubt
it is feasible or that the result would be usable.

    you could have a text-only system without even X11 -- but we don't
    care about that as a platform for texworks. At least I don't. :)

Sure, of course a text-only system is not a target.

My overall conclusion is that it is impossible to distribute binaries
(at least on Linux-based systems) that will be usable for more than a
tiny fraction of users -- those running precisely the same system that
it was built on.  So we shouldn't bother.  The best we can do is try to
make binaries for different systems available from the TW web pages and
point users to that.

A binary for Windows would still be highly useful in TL.  Assuming that,
ironically, such a binary will work on the usual Windows versions --
which I think is the case.

For the other kernels (BSD, Solaris, AIX, IRIX), I don't know (except
that OpenBSD in particular is hopeless wrt to shared libraries), but I
doubt there will be many users anyway.

For MacOSX, it might be possible, which would be fine, but it's probably
less important there than anywhere else, given TeXShop.



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