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Dec 12, 2001, 20:33 (19 Talkback[s])

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"I recently compared Microsoft's proposed solution to DLL hell with the way Unix developers avoid ".so" hell [Technology, Nov. 12 ]. The term .so stands for shared objects, which are more commonly known as shared libraries. They are basically the Unix equivalent of Dynamic Link Libraries (DLL).

Microsoft is proposing a complicated procedure that would require developers to embed version numbers within header files, as well as create many new registry entries in some cases and replace registry entries with XML files in others. The solution on Unix is to simply rename the library file.

Admittedly, my explanation of the Unix approach was a bit of an oversimplification. So allow me to elaborate by describing how shared libraries are handled on Linux, which is a Unix clone. Consider yourself warned, however, that what I'm about to describe isn't the official policy on how to manage .so versions in Unix or Linux. This is simply my observation of how Linux library maintainers generally work. There's probably an official policy guide on .so versioning, but more likely than not, it simply describes what Unix programmers already do, which is whatever makes sense at the time."

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