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This happens all the time, but here's an example:

  • libgdal-dev, versus
  • libgeos-3.3.3

Why are some packages named with the version number and others are not? This seems to happen more with libraries, so that might hold a clue (other packages depend on specific versions?), but I recall it happening in other contexts also.

Finally, what are the implications of installing a numbered version when that version becomes obsolete? If I install libgeos-3.3.3 does it not get automagically upgraded to libgeos-4.5.0 when 3.3.3 is obsolete?

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I think it depends on the update. If you append the version at your name, it will be a different package. So if your update induce major changes, users won't be impact by just upgrading with apt-get upgrade and nothing will be broken. And if you really want to upgrade the library, you need to install the new package. –  NorTicUs Oct 10 '12 at 13:32

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