To all port maintainers: libtool

Tijl Coosemans tijl at
Thu May 8 22:16:51 UTC 2014

On Thu, 8 May 2014 21:27:56 +0200 Alexander Leidinger wrote:
> On Thu, 8 May 2014 00:24:20 +0200
> Tijl Coosemans <tijl at> wrote:
>> USES=libtool modifiers :keepla and :oldver.
> You wasn't explicit, which may be beneficial for people which don't
> have English as their first language...
> Is it right that you tell everyone to replace "USE_AUTOTOOLS=YES" with
> "USES=libtool:keepla:oldver" now?

No, it is either USES=libtool, USES=libtool:keepla or USES=libtool:oldver.
Most ports will eventually use the first form but for the time being many
may have to use :keepla or :oldver.

To know which one to use you can follow these steps:

If a port does not install any libraries always use USES=libtool.  If it
does, try USES=libtool:keepla.  If this causes the major version number
of a library to change, use USES=libtool:oldver.

You can upgrade USES=libtool:oldver to USES=libtool:keepla if
1) an update to a new version of the port would have changed the
   library version anyway, or
2) you grep /usr/ports/INDEX-* for your port and find that only a
   dozen or so other ports depend on it so bumping PORTREVISION on
   them isn't that bad.

You can upgrade USES=libtool:keepla to USES=libtool if you grep
/usr/ports/INDEX-* for your port and verify that all of the ports
that install .la files also have some form of USES=libtool in their
Makefile.  Unless the number of dependent ports is small I don't
really recommend this.  There's no harm in keeping .la files.

> And for ports with a large dependency chain behind you more or less
> suggest to keep the modifiers until the ports tree is converted (let's
> assume a port which is needed by all desktop environments, then we are
> roughly speaking at about 3k ports or more which depend upon it, which
> is close enough to "the ports tree" for this discussion ;-) )?

Yes.  At some point ports with :oldver will be converted to :keepla.
Depending on how many ports these are, this will probably happen in
batches of related ports and may need to be coordinated by portmgr.
I don't expect this to be something that individual port maintainers
will have to worry about.

And at another point the dependency records of all .la files will be
empty in all ports (currently about 1400 ports left).  From then on
it will be safe to replace USES=libtool:keepla with USES=libtool.

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