Adam Jackson writes:
Most of the complexity in libtool (and autotools in general) is to support systems that simply are not worth supporting and that practically speaking don't exist anymore. I'm being slightly flip in saying 'gcc -shared' but really not by much. Honestly for any fringe platform the correct thing to do is port gcc/binutils/gmake first.
There's much more to libtool then just building shared libraries. If you remove everything from libtool that supports ancient platforms, you'll still have quite a bit left.
For example, libtool builds both shared and static libraries in parallel. That, alone, saves you from dealing with a massive hairball in your makefiles. Ask anyone who works on a large, complicated app, that links with its own shared libraries. The option to easily build a statically-linked version is quite invaluable, for debugging purposes.
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