What are the "serious" libraries?

Sam Stuewe samuel.stuewe at gmail.com
Sun Apr 5 17:51:54 UTC 2020

Musl and sqlite are widely considered some of the highest-quality
codebases in C out there.

Can't recommend either highly enough.

All the best,


On 4/5/20, Joe Nelson <joe at begriffs.com> wrote:
> Timothy J. Salo wrote:
>> I'm not sure what a "serious" library is
> What I mean by serious is this combination:
> * Required painstaking work (e.g. ncurses cross-terminal abstraction)
>   or specialist knowledge (e.g. crypto algorithms)
> * Available on many platforms and callable from many languages
> Zooming out a little about my motivation, I've been wondering what the
> best use of my time would be for learning tech topics. What topics are
> going to allow me to do cool new things, and also not become quickly
> obsolete? I thought that identifying and learning serious libraries
> would be a good contender.
>> but it seems to me that pretty much any such list ought to include
>> glibc.
> Good point. Looks like glibc provides an implementation of both the C
> standard library, and POSIX.1-2008. Wikipedia identifies some other
> implementations as well: BSD libc, dietlibc, μClibc, Newlibc, klibc,
> musl, Bionic.
> Looks like BSD libc also has some extensions to the standard.
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C_standard_library#BSD_libc
> Fragmentation pains me, I wish the implementations would stick to the
> spec and then offer the extensions as another library. That way you
> wouldn't have to buy into the whole platform. Or maybe you can use BSD
> libc even on Mac and Linux? Is that possible?

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