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Re: Status?

On 12/07/2006, at 4:15 AM, Evan Lavelle wrote:
Can anyone please tell me what the status of libffi is? What's the current version, and where's the best place to download stand-alone sources?

I'm also confused about why libffi is now part of gcc - does this mean that gcc has some sort of native support for dynamic function calls? I can't find anything in the online docs about this.

Good question. As far as I can see, it is all disintegrating into one of those unfortunate open source messes, which happen when the project is not managed.

I have spent some time on this and discovered the following:
There is a version of libffi distributed with gcc. However, it is not officially part of gcc because of problems over copyright. All official gcc code must be copyright FSF and covered by GPL. This requires the original authors and copyright holders to assign their rights to the FSF. In this case I think there is uncertainty about who they are.

As a result little work is done on it in the gcc code base. I think it is used to as part of gcc Java support.

There is another version distributed by the PyObjc folks, who have added ppc64 and i386 support for Darwin, but these have not been added back into gcc because of the copyright issues.

GNUstep developers also pitch in some times.

There are probably other forks out there produced by people who needed them for one reason or another.

There is always ffcall which has similar functionality but again has possible copyright issues.

Bill Northcott

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