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A helper for library maintainers to use symbol versioning
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README.rst

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abimap

A helper for library maintainers to use symbol versioning

Why use symbol versioning?

The main reason is to be able to keep the library [ABI] stable.

If a library is intended to be used for a long time, it will need updates for eventual bug fixes and/or improvement. This can lead to changes in the [API] and, in the worst case, changes to the [ABI].

Using symbol versioning, it is possible to make compatible changes and keep the applications working without recompiling. If incompatible changes were made (breaking the [ABI]), symbol versioning allows both incompatible versions to live in the same system without conflict. And even more uncommon situations, like an application to be linked to different (incompatible) versions of the same library.

For more information, I strongly recommend reading:

  • [HOW_TO] How to write shared libraries, by Ulrich Drepper

How to add symbol versioning to my library?

Adding version information to the symbols is easy. Keeping the [ABI] stable, unfortunately, is not. This project intends to help in the first part.

To add version information to symbols of a library, one can use version scripts (in Linux). Version scripts are files used by linkers to map symbols to a given version. It contains the symbols exported by the library grouped by the releases where they were introduced. For example:

LIB_EXAMPLE_1_0_0
  {
    global:
      symbol;
      another_symbol;
    local:
      *;
  };

In this example, the release LIB_EXAMPLE_1_0_0 introduces the symbols symbol and another_symbol. The * wildcard in local catches all other symbols, meaning only symbol and another_symbol are globally exported as part of the library [API].

If a compatible change is made, it would introduce a new release, like:

LIB_EXAMPLE_1_0_0
{
    global:
        symbol;
        another_symbol;
    local:
        *;
};

LIB_EXAMPLE_1_1_0
{
    global:
        new_symbol;
} LIB_EXAMPLE_1_0_0;

The new release LIB_EXAMPLE_1_1_0 introduces the symbol new_symbol. The * wildcard should be only in one version, usually in the oldest version. The } LIB_EXAMPLE_1_0_0; part in the end of the new release means the new release depends on the old release.

Suppose a new incompatible version LIB_EXAMPLE_2_0_0 released after LIB_EXAMPLE_1_1_0. Its map would look like:

LIB_EXAMPLE_2_0_0
{
    global:
        a_newer_symbol;
        another_symbol;
        new_symbol;
    local:
        *;
};

The symbol symbol was removed (and that is why it was incompatible). And a new symbol was introduced, a_newer_symbol.

Note that all global symbols in all releases were merged in a unique new release.

Installation:

At the command line:

pip install abimap

Usage:

This project delivers a script, abimap. This is my first project in python, so feel free to point out ways to improve it.

The sub-commands update and new expect a list of symbols given in stdin. The list of symbols are words separated by non-alphanumeric characters (matches with the regular expression [a-zA-Z0-9_]+). For example:

symbol, another, one_more

and:

symbol
another
one_more

are valid inputs.

The last sub-command, check, expects only the path to the map file to be checked.

tl;dr

$ abimap update lib_example.map < symbols_list

or (setting an output):

$ abimap update lib_example.map -o new.map < symbols_list

or:

$ cat symbols_list | abimap update lib_example.map -o new.map

or (to create a new map):

$ cat symbols_list | abimap new -r lib_example_1_0_0 -o new.map

or (to check the content of a existing map):

$ abimap check my.map

or (to check the current version):

$ abimap version

Long version

Running abimap -h will give:

usage: abimap [-h] {update,new,check,version} ...

Helper tools for linker version script maintenance

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit

Subcommands:
  {update,new,check,version}
                        These subcommands have their own set of options
    update              Update the map file
    new                 Create a new map file
    check               Check the map file
    version             Print version

Call a subcommand passing '-h' to see its specific options

Call a subcommand passing '-h' to see its specific options There are four subcommands, update, new, check, and version

Running abimap update -h will give:

usage: abimap update [-h] [-o OUT] [-i INPUT] [-d]
                     [--verbosity {quiet,error,warning,info,debug} | --quiet | --debug]
                     [-l LOGFILE] [-n NAME] [-v VERSION] [-r RELEASE]
                     [--no_guess] [--allow-abi-break] [-f] [-a | --remove]
                     file

positional arguments:
  file                  The map file being updated

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -o OUT, --out OUT     Output file (defaults to stdout)
  -i INPUT, --in INPUT  Read from this file instead of stdio
  -d, --dry             Do everything, but do not modify the files
  --verbosity {quiet,error,warning,info,debug}
                        Set the program verbosity
  --quiet               Makes the program quiet
  --debug               Makes the program print debug info
  -l LOGFILE, --logfile LOGFILE
                        Log to this file
  -n NAME, --name NAME  The name of the library (e.g. libx)
  -v VERSION, --version VERSION
                        The release version (e.g. 1_0_0 or 1.0.0)
  -r RELEASE, --release RELEASE
                        The full name of the release to be used (e.g.
                        LIBX_1_0_0)
  --no_guess            Disable next release name guessing
  --allow-abi-break     Allow removing symbols, and to break ABI
  -f, --final           Mark the modified release as final, preventing later
                        changes.
  -a, --add             Adds the symbols to the map file.
  --remove              Remove the symbols from the map file. This breaks the
                        ABI.

A list of symbols is expected as the input. If a file is provided with '-i',
the symbols are read from the given file. Otherwise the symbols are read from
stdin.

Running abimap new -h will give:

usage: abimap new [-h] [-o OUT] [-i INPUT] [-d]
                  [--verbosity {quiet,error,warning,info,debug} | --quiet | --debug]
                  [-l LOGFILE] [-n NAME] [-v VERSION] [-r RELEASE]
                  [--no_guess] [-f]

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -o OUT, --out OUT     Output file (defaults to stdout)
  -i INPUT, --in INPUT  Read from this file instead of stdio
  -d, --dry             Do everything, but do not modify the files
  --verbosity {quiet,error,warning,info,debug}
                        Set the program verbosity
  --quiet               Makes the program quiet
  --debug               Makes the program print debug info
  -l LOGFILE, --logfile LOGFILE
                        Log to this file
  -n NAME, --name NAME  The name of the library (e.g. libx)
  -v VERSION, --version VERSION
                        The release version (e.g. 1_0_0 or 1.0.0)
  -r RELEASE, --release RELEASE
                        The full name of the release to be used (e.g.
                        LIBX_1_0_0)
  --no_guess            Disable next release name guessing
  -f, --final           Mark the new release as final, preventing later
                        changes.

A list of symbols is expected as the input. If a file is provided with '-i',
the symbols are read from the given file. Otherwise the symbols are read from
stdin.

Running abimap check -h will give:

usage: abimap check [-h]
                    [--verbosity {quiet,error,warning,info,debug} | --quiet | --debug]
                    [-l LOGFILE]
                    file

positional arguments:
  file                  The map file to be checked

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  --verbosity {quiet,error,warning,info,debug}
                        Set the program verbosity
  --quiet               Makes the program quiet
  --debug               Makes the program print debug info
  -l LOGFILE, --logfile LOGFILE
                        Log to this file

Running abimap version -h will give:

usage: abimap version [-h]

optional arguments:
  -h, --help  show this help message and exit

Import as a library:

To use abimap in a project as a library:

from abimap import symver

Documentation:

Check in Read the docs

References:

[ABI](1, 2, 3, 4) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Application_binary_interface
[API](1, 2) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Application_programming_interface
[HOW_TO]https://www.akkadia.org/drepper/dsohowto.pdf, How to write shared libraries by Ulrich Drepper
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