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Questions on shared libraries

1.  By inspection of other packages, I deduce that shared libraries are
supposed to be produced by a set of lines in the rules or Makefile like:

    gcc -fpic -O2 -Wall -I<whatever_you_need> -c libprogram.c 
    gcc -shared -Wl,-soname,libprogram.so.N -o libprogram.so.N.M.O lib*.o 
    ln -s libprogram.so.N.M.O libprogram.so.N 
    ln -s libprogram.so.N libprogram.so  

    where N is a major version number and M and O are minor (and presumably
    even more minor) version numbers.

    My question is, how does one deduce the {major,minor} version numbers?  
    (Specifically, the netpbm package comes with lib files that are just
    named "libppm.c", etc.  I have arbitrarily set N=1, M=1 and O=1, but
    such arbitrariness seems more or less out of the spirit of things.

2.  Why do we distribute static libraries as well as shared libraries?

Thanks in advance,

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