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I'll say it again: Look at

I'll say it again: Look at the UNIX world and see how it's done. LibRaw is not so unique. Plenty of other software libraries have encountered these issues, and yet they distribute as shared libraries right from the start.

Believe it or not, it can work. What's more -- and I hope you take this to heart -- library versioning is not a problem you need to solve. It's been solved elsewhere. Please investigate before you go down that path.