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libdb transition policy? (Was: Re: Bug#367853: libetpan: Please consider transitioning to libdb4.4)

[CCing to -devel and to people who maintain packages that depend on 

> Package: libetpan
> Severity: wishlist
> Hi,
> currently several versions of the berkeley db libraries are used in the
> archive: libdb[4.2,4.3,4.4].
> Please consider upgrading to libdb4.4 in order to ship etch with fewer
> versions of this library.

Thank you for pointing this.

However, if I will build library against libdb4.4 instead of libdb4.2, this 
will probably break any binaries built against the library - both packaged 
and local.

Asking upstream to change soname is IMO not an option in this case because 
libdb transition is debian internal activity, and upstream has nothing to 
do with it.

So how to handle this? Change soname (making it different from upstream)?

Reading Library Packaging guide [1] could not point me to any particular 

Btw, I guess the same situation is with other packages also - maybe there 
is some policy around this particular transition?


[1] http://www.netfort.gr.jp/~dancer/column/libpkg-guide/libpkg-guide.html

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