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Confused by .la file removal vs static linking support


I maintain a library package, libetpan.

I'm going to unload a new version, and, among other things, I was going to 
remove .la file, per release-goal
In http://ftp-master.debian.org/~aba/la/current.txt, package is listed 
as 'libetpan: dependency_libs', so I thoughty I just need to remove .la 
file from -dev package

However I'm confused with how this interfers with static linking support. 
I've seen talks on this in list archives, but no project-scope resolution.

libetpan-dev depends on several other -dev packages because libraries from 
those are mentioned in dependency_libs, and because libraries provided by 
those -dev packages are needed to link statically against libetpan.

So, should I:

(1) just drop .la file, or
(2) drop .la file, downgrade dependences on -dev packages to recommends: or 
suggests:, or
(3) drop .la file and dependences on -dev packages, but keep libetpan.a, or
(4) drop .la file and dependences on -dev packages and libetpan.a

Perhaps (4) is the most consistent solution, since nobody cares about 
static linking these days. However AFAIU debian's policy is still to 
provide static libraries.
(3) looks like plain inconsistency: package will provide .a file, but not 
ensure things required for using .a file into system.
So I likely should choose from (1) and (2).

Please advice.

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