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Guidelines Around Compatibility Packages

Compatibility Packages

Compatibility packages are packages which provide a secondary (usually older) version of an API or program from the primary version packaged within Fedora. These guidelines illustrate some simple rules around how and why a compatibility package may be reasonable to include within Fedora.

Acceptable Uses

In general, software within Fedora should be moved to run on the current version of libraries. Shipping multiple versions of libraries tends to be problematic due to a potential case where multiple versions of a library could be linked into one running process leading to unpredictable results. It also means that security changes, fixes, etc. They also take more repository space, requiring more download of package metadata, ...

In cases where this isn't possible, a compatibility package _may_ be introduced if there is someone who is willing to maintain the compatibility package and the primary package maintainer is not against the idea. The reasoning for the latter is that even if the primary maintainer is not maintaining the compatibility package, chances are that they will have to be involved in the maintenance due to passing along security problems, helping out with things and redirecting misfiled bugs.