There have been several discussions about the change from 'a.out'
to ELF in the binary executable format.
After following with care the instructions in move_to_elf I
have successfully rised up an ELF based Linux system with no big
problem. (Thanks HJL) (linux-1.2.10, gcc-2.7.0, libc-5.1.2)
ELF format is _much_ easier to use than a.out for developpers. I _never_
built an a.out shared library (will that space be occupied by some other
stuff ?? + 18 pages tech. manual to deal with... Sorry EY) however right
now I've built _many_ ELF shared libraries with no problem (svga, ImageMagick,
jpeg, tiff, termnet, ncurses, Xpm, Xaw3d, fvwm, _my own projects_, ... ).
That means only for ImageMagick a saving of 300-400Kb in each executable!
I think that this _big_ shift will give Linux full potential as
a _modern_ Un*x system (like DEC-OSF1, HP-UX, Univel, etc.)
Meanwhile if you want to run old a.out executables, keep
your old 'a.out' libs in /usr/i486-linuxaout/lib and tell 'ld.so'
If you are not used to deal with Makefiles and tools ..., wait till
Slackware, ... distribute an ELF based system. It is, by far, much
more simple to follow the installation menu than to build from
sources. (What are you waiting for, Patrick? :-) ) If you dare
though, be _extra_ careful, follow strictly all the instructions
in move_to_elf, and release-xxxx, and get last utilities (ld.so, libc,
gcc, binutils, libc++, etc ) And last but not least keep in mind that
ELF, right now, is more BETA than Linux itself!
BTW linux-1.3.3 _runs_ ELF!!! (But has some other bugs to * out!)