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Shared library versioning


I'm actually making some .deb packages out of a single source archive. One of them should contain a shared library. The upstream author's package's version is 5.13 and the soname of his library has been set to 513. After having contacted him, he told me that was done because apparently each time the new version of the library became uncompatible with the previous ones, the major version should be incremented, something that was disturbing because the library is often subject to modifications leading to incompatibilities.

After having searched around on the internet I didn't find any information on this, but I read once again the SONAME chapter of the debian library packaging manual and didn't see this "method" of versioning mentioned.

What I understood so far is that when upgrading a shared library the old version is left around and only the link libname.so is updated. What happens now if I update this shared library without recompiling the software that was linked agains the old version ?

Thanks in advance for your comments

Alexis Papadopoulos

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