Libraries and Applications
Many language- or domain-specific guidelines refer to "libraries", "modules", "plug-ins" or other terms specific to the language or domain ("libraries"). This is specifically important to package naming. Some applications may include libraries, and some libraries may include applications, so the distinction is not always clear.
Library or Application?
- If the primary purpose of a package is to provide executables to be run by users, it SHOULD be packaged as an application. If it also includes libraries which may be imported or linked to by other code, see #Mixed Use Packages below.
- If the primary purpose of a package is to provide libraries intended to be imported or loaded into other code, it is considered a library and MUST be packaged as such. If it contains utility programs that can be run by users as well, see #Mixed Use Packages below.
It is left to the packager to determine the primary purpose of a package. Often times upstream will already have done this with their choice of naming and that choice SHOULD be followed by the Fedora packager.
Mixed Use Packages
Many packages, regardless of their primary purpose, include both applications and libraries. There are a few options:
- Split out into one or more subpackages the executables or libraries, following the relevant guidelines.
- Simply package as an application or a library and just include the libraries or executables in that package.
- Do #2 but also add a Provides: for the name of an application or library according to the regular packaging guidelines.
If the executables have significant dependencies which the libraries do not, then #1 MUST be followed. NOTE: RPM itself may automatically add the necessary Provides: and these MUST not be duplicated in case #3.