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Re: soname number in name of dev-package?

Frank Küster wrote:
Do I understand right that you recommend not to use libfoo1-dev,
libfoo2-dev generally, but that the most recent version should be just
libfoo-dev? The Debian library packaging guide gives the opposite
advice, to use libfoo<number>-dev always, but I have learned that this
document does not represent a consensus, anyway.

If you need libfoo-dev 1 and libfoo-dev 2 installed simultaneously on user's machines, you need different package names. That's desirable very rarely and usually entirely undesirable -- it wastes disk space, forces people to edit build-depends and potentially makefiles, and generally ends up just being confusing.

If you come at it from the view of "what can we suggest that'll work for everyone, no matter what they need", then always renaming makes sense. If you come at it from the view of "what'll involve the least complexity for users, me, and other developers", keeping the same package name is usually the right answer.

Bumping the version in the -dev isn't a real problem, but bumping random other package names gets to be. Seriously, changing package names is always a nuisance; so you should only do it when it's necessary -- which is to say when the new package is deliberately broken -- in the sense it doesn't provide the functionality the old one did. For comparison, libc6 is an example of a library that doesn't deliberately break, libgal is an example of a library that deliberately breaks quite regularly. (Get a list of packages and a dart if you want an example of a package that breaks accidently)


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