[OS X TeX] Possible problem with libpng i-Package on Mac OS X 10.4

Martin Costabel costabel at wanadoo.fr
Thu Apr 6 09:55:20 EDT 2006

Gerben Wierda wrote:
> I have had one, but serious, report on a potential problem. There is a 
> possible problem with the libpng software if installed on Mac OS X 10.4 
> systems. As a result, all kinds of Apple apps start crashing because 
> they try to load the dynamic library that is part of the libpng 
> i-Package. There is nothing worng with that library, but Apple 
> Frameworks seem to require extra stuff which is not available in the 
> standard libpng 1.2.8 out there on the net.
> I have blocked the libpng i-Package and I urge everybody to uninstalll 
> it. I will reissue it without the dynamic libraries. Something that was 
> the case before last month.
> I will update the autotrace, wvWare, netpbm and libwmf i-package such 
> that they do not require dynamic libpng but are linked statically.

A simpler solution would be to omit the symlink

libpng.dylib -> libpng.3.dylib

from your package. This symlink is not needed for the runtime use of the 
dylibs; it is only needed for compiling, and since AFAICT you don't 
provide a developer environment (headers etc) anyway, you don't need it. 
It is only "libpng.dylib" that clashes with Apple's libraries, not the 
real file "libpng." or the other symlink "libpng.3.dylib".

The origin of this problem is the strange decision of some woolly-headed 
Apple developer to name dylibs in the Tiger ImageIO.framework 
"libGIF.dylib", "libJPEG.dylib", "libPng.dylib", "libTIFF.dylib" etc. 
What he didn't know or care about is that there are some (millions of) 
Apple users who run case-insensitive file systems so that his shiny new 
dylibs are clashing with the standard open source libraries of similar 
names. If one day you provided libtiff.dylib or libjpeg.dylib, you would 
run into the same problem with these.


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