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17.18 Library version handling

The module ‘check-version’ can be useful when your gnulib application is a system library. You will typically wrap the call to the check_version function through a library API, your library header file may contain:

#define STRINGPREP_VERSION "0.5.18"
  extern const char *stringprep_check_version (const char *req_version);

To avoid ELF symbol collisions with other libraries that use the ‘check-version’ module, add to config.h through a AC_DEFINE something like:

AC_DEFINE(check_version, stringprep_check_version,
          [Rename check_version.])

The stringprep_check_version function will thus be implemented by the check_version module.

There are two uses of the interface. The first is a way to provide for applications to find out the version number of the library it uses. The application may contain diagnostic code such as:

  printf ("Stringprep version: header %s library %s",
          stringprep_check_version (NULL));

Separating the library and header file version can be useful when searching for version mismatch related problems.

The second uses is as a rudimentary test of proper library version, by making sure the application get a library version that is the same, or newer, than the header file used when building the application. This doesn’t catch all problems, libraries may change backwards incompatibly in later versions, but enable applications to require a certain minimum version before it may proceed.

Typical uses look like:

       /* Check version of libgcrypt. */
       if (!gcry_check_version (GCRYPT_VERSION))
         die ("version mismatch\n");