Compatibility versions

Handling of compatibility packages, versioned jars etc.

In Fedora we prefer to always have only the latest version of a given project. Unfortunately, this is not always possible as some projects change too much and it would be too hard to port dependent packages to the current version. It’s not possible to just update the package and keep the old version around as the names, file paths and dependency provides would clash. The recommended practice is to update the current package to the new version and create new package representing the old version (called compat package). The compat package needs to have the version number (usually only the major number, unless further distinction is necessary) appended to the name, thus effectivelly having different name from RPM’s point of view. Such compat package needs to perform some additional steps to ensure that it can be installed and used along the non-compat one.

You should always evaluate whether creating a compat package is really necessary. Porting dependent projects to new versions of dependencies may be a compicated task, but your effort would be appreciated and it’s likely that the patch will be accepted upstream at some point in time. If the upstream is already inactive and the package is not required by anything, you should also consider retiring it.

Maven Compat Versions

XMvn supports marking particular artifact as compat, performing the necessary steps to avoid clashes with the non-compat version. An artifact can be marked as compat by %mvn_compat_version. It accepts an artifact argument which will determine which artifact will be compat. The format for specifying artifact coordinates is the same as with %mvn_alias. In the common case you will want to mark all artifacts as compat. You can specify multiple compat versions at a time.

Dependency resolution of compat artifacts

When XMvn performs dependency resolution for a dependency artifact in a project, it checks the dependency version and compares it against all versions of the artifact installed in the buildroot. If none of the compat artifacts matches it will resolve the artifact to the non-compat one. This has a few implications:

  • The versions are compared for exact match. The compat package should provide all applicable versions that are present in packages that are supposed to be used with this version.

  • The dependent packages need to have correct BuildRequires on the compat package as the virtual provides is also different (see below).

File names and virtual provides

In order to prevent file name clashes, compat artifacts have the first specified compat version appended to the filename. Virtual provides for compat artifacts also contain the version as the last part of the coordinates. There are multiple provides for each specified compat version. Non-compat artifact don’t have any version in the virtual provides.

Example invocation of %mvn_compat_version
# Assuming the package has name bar and version 3
# Sets the compat version of foo:bar artifact to 3
%mvn_compat_version foo:bar 3
# The installed artifact file (assuming it's jar and there were no
# %mvn_file calls) will be at %{_javadir}/bar/bar-3.jar
# The generated provides for foo:bar will be
# mvn(foo:bar:3) = 3
# mvn(foo:bar:pom:3) = 3

# Sets the compat versions of all artifacts in the build to 3 and 3.2
%mvn_compat_version : 3 3.2