I'm trying to re-package a piece of software for Fedora.  The catch is that this software depends about 15-20 specific versions of external libraries that Fedora ships, but only in a newer version.  In several cases, this conflict is a deal-breaker--i.e., other installed software relies on the official Fedora library package/version, so I can't just replace the official RPM outright with a site-specific version.

I would like to stay as close as possible to Fedora's packaging best practices.  Even if I don't submit the resulting packages to Fedora for review, it's important to get as close to the guidelines as possible.

From what I understand, the "right" way to package multiple parallel versions of one library is the 'compat-*' convention (http://docs.fedoraproject.org/drafts/rpm-guide-en/ch18s02.html has an overview).  I took a look at the specs and manifests for a couple of existing compat packages, and I think I understand the concept pretty well.  I think I can adapt the existing spec files and follow the conventions.

But I have a lot of questions, too, and I was hoping that anybody in the know could help me.

 * Is anything about the compat convention standardized, or a matter of policy?  I saw that the FESCO discussed about the issue, a while back, but I feel like I may have missed something more recent.

 * I can understand why large numbers of compat packages are frowned upon, and 15+ compats to support one measly application seems excessive, even to me.  Is this the kind of thing that would torpedo a package review, completely?  Or is there room for discussion, given a commitment to improve the situation (i.e., update the application) in time?

 * What kinds of compat packages, and what specifically about them, are considered bad?  I've noticed that some compats don't appear to be included in Fedora, like 'compat-python24'.  It seems like a useful package, but I'm seeing it in RPM Fusion--why didn't it pass review?

 * In the future, what direction is Fedora taking the compat convention?  What kinds of long-term issues should I worry about, if I want to get ahead of the curve?

If anyone can point me to existing resources on the compat subject, I would appreciate the links, too.

Ryan B. Lynch