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I would like to encourage adding provided libraries of a package to its "provides=()" array in the PKGBUILD.
Updating the system libraries may break manually compiled packages. Having the version of the system libraries fixed in the dependencies of the manually compiled package, this could be avoided, because then pacman would refuse to replace the system library. The current behaviour can be annoying if the manually compiled package is vital (e.g. a mail server), requires some time for compilation and/or fails to build for unrelated reasons.
If the libraries are added to the provides array, makepkg will automatically version those dependencies.
libvorbis, for example has provides=('libvorbis.so' 'libvorbisenc.so' 'libvorbisfile.so') in the PKGBUILD which becomes Provides: libvorbis.so=0-64 libvorbisenc.so=2-64 libvorbisfile.so=3-64 in the package.
This way, external packages can pick up versioned dependencies on the library by using "depends=()".
Since my proposal got denied for a single package, I currently have a horrible hack in place which manually adds depends= entries in the package() function looking at the compiled binaries with objdump. Because I can only add dependencies based on the $pkgver of the package, but not on the soname version of the library, I have to recompile for each version change - not only the ones which actually change soname. The only current alternative would be to manually build the required libraries, too (with the provides=() entries added) - which is obviously also a bad idea.
Can we please have a todo list of packages that provide libraries in /usr/lib but not announce them in the metadata?
Or should we enable makepkg to automatically search through the library directory? (Probably not a good idea, as there might be differing locations, libraries which should deliberately not be announced, etc. ...)
Or is my approach flawed from the beginning? How should I else circumvent breaking the linking?
regards Erich Eckner