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Re: [Fedora-packaging] Compat packages

Denis Leroy wrote:
Tom "spot" Callaway wrote:
On 03/19/2009 08:44 AM, Richard W.M. Jones wrote:
Is there any policy at all on compat packages?  I can't find anything
except this oblique reference to "openssl" vs "openssl096b":


There are a number of compat-* packages in Fedora.

We would like to add one for celt (an audio codec), since the
bitstream changes incompatibly in each release, and interoperability
depends on an application always using the same specific version.

(This is in relation to this bug:
and the celt package in both Rawhide and RHEL 5)

There is no formalized policy at this time. The last attempt by FESCo
was tabled, but is here:


My opinion is that compat- packages are acceptable in cases where the
primary (non-compat) maintainer agrees that there is value in the compat
packages, and that it does not encourage upstreams to remain on old APIs

My opinion also. On that topic, should we do something about compat packages not explicitly named as such. For example, we ship gtksourceview and gtksourceview2. Shouldn't they be called 'compat-gtksourceview' and 'gtksourceview' respectively ?

No. These are 2 different historic ways to having been applied to introduce "compat packages".

1) Add "compat-*" packages

2) Use versioned package names "package<N>"

Both approaches have pros and cons each.

* compat-* package typically supply "backward compatible run-times". They very often aim at "keeping users' applications" happy.

* "package<N>" package often aim at "parallel installation", often stemming from times when some underlying package has undergone major API/ABI changes, while it's clients/users have not been updated to the new version yet (classic example: gtk (gtk1) vs. gtk2).

Where do we draw the line ?
Why do you want to draw a line? There are many aspects why one solution might be preferable/better suitable in one or the other situation.


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