[SOLVED] Why does emacs-23.3-r2 still need libpng12.so.0?
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First, check the output for "which emacs" (or whatever the command is) and then double check that the listed binary file is part of the emacs package, using your favourite portage tool (i.e. equery or the like), and not some other emacs version you installed by hand.
It should probably be under /usr/bin/emacs, so try running it with the fully qualified path just to be sure.
Use find or whatever tool you prefer to locate all the libpng versions in your system. There's probably some leftover somewhere causing this pain. Also, see what libpng versions portage lists.
You should also try searching at forums.gentoo.org and read about the issues people experienced when migrating to libpng-1.4 because of the infamous ABI break. I don't remember anything about emacs, concretely, but it might worth a check.
Last, but not least, even if emacs truly needs libpng-1.2 (and I really doubt it, but I am not going to bother installing emacs just to check), you could just do "emerge emacs:1.2" and at least portage will know that the lib is installed. No need to pick random libs and put them into your fs. And in any case, I really disregard that kind of practice, because it can cause issues like the one you are experiencing right now and some darker ones.
Thanks. It's not the first time (or even the 10th) that I've been caught out executing something other than what I expect. There was an old copy in /usr/local/bin. The current emacs does not need libpng12 after all.