______   ___    ___
    /\  _  \ /\_ \  /\_ \
    \ \ \L\ \\//\ \ \//\ \      __     __   _ __   ___ 
     \ \  __ \ \ \ \  \ \ \   /'__`\ /'_ `\/\`'__\/ __`\
      \ \ \/\ \ \_\ \_ \_\ \_/\  __//\ \L\ \ \ \//\ \L\ \
       \ \_\ \_\/\____\/\____\ \____\ \____ \ \_\\ \____/
        \/_/\/_/\/____/\/____/\/____/\/___L\ \/_/ \/___/
                                       /\____/
                                       \_/__/


ABI compatibility information.

See readme.txt for a more general overview.



Introduction

Once Allegro 4.0 is released, we plan to maintain Application Binary Interface compatibility for the rest of the 4.0.x series. For example, that means you will be able to use a executable compiled using version 4.0.10 with a version 4.0.42 dynamic linker library, or even 4.0.0.

"Whew," you sigh, "I don't have to put allxxxx.dll in my zips anymore."

Ultimately, yes. However, there are some guidelines (rules) you should (must) follow, otherwise things will not work, and you will get angry emails from users and from us (the Allegro "Be Good" Mafia).

Note: ABI compatibility will only be _actively_ maintained for Windows, Linux and BeOS on x86 architectures.



Windows notes

If you don't need a modified version of Allegro then just link your program against an officially blessed non-WIP, non-CVS, non-dodgy version and chocolate chip cookies will fall from the sky. Don't disable any features (eg. colour depths, drivers) in the DLL.

If you require a modified version of Allegro, then please either statically link, or pick a non-standard name for the Allegro DLL. For example, it would be bad mojo to distribute a modified version of Allegro under a name such as all40.dll or alleg40.dll. Instead, call it something like alcustom.dll. Even better, statically link.

For the people who use vanilla Allegro, we will provide a set of "reference" DLLs. If your binary works with those then everything is fine. If you want to distribute Allegro DLLs with your program (usually a good idea), we recommend you distribute our DLLs instead of ones you compiled yourself. We trust you will bodge something up.



Linux notes

To make sure an Allegro binary compiled on your machine will work on another machine, do not disable any "features" with `configure'. Your copy of Allegro must have assembly routines, threads, modules, all colour depths and X11 support enabled, amongst other things. If in doubt, leave it at the default setting.

When you are ready to distribute your binary, run "ldd <mybinary>". It should say something like:

liballeg.so.4.0 => /usr/local/lib/liballeg.so.4.0 (0xdeadbeaf)

It should NOT say:

liballeg.so.4.0.0 => /usr/local/lib/liballeg.so.4.0.0 (0xdeadbeaf)

If you see the latter, that would mean users with later versions of Allegro would not be able to run your binary.

See also the Windows section if you need to use a modified version of Allegro.

For people packaging Allegro for redistribution: Drivers that are built as dynamically loaded modules may be disabled or left out, but all others should be left in. Examples of drivers that are _not_ dynamically loaded include: VBE/AF, DGA1, OSS digital, OSS MIDI. In short, if a program built against a copy of default-options Allegro will work with your final library, all is goodly.



BeOS notes

Most of the things discussed in the Windows notes apply here. In particular, you're encouraged to use a non-WIP, non-CVS unmodified official version of the library, in which case your program should run without problems on foreign machines.



Final notes

Providing source is still better than not providing source. Binaries are good, however, if your code sucks and only you (with the help of witchcraft) can compile it.

If you provided binaries in the past using WIP versions of Allegro, we politely request that you recompile your program using a stable version of Allegro. (Unless, of course, you'd prefer to sleep with the fishes.)

And oh, don't make your compiler generate i686-only code or anything stupid like that.