the what command
In the old days there was a what command, and just a few minutes ago I noticed that my RH7.2 dist does not have this command. A few years ago I noticed that most programmers where not aware of it. If your machine has a what command just run it over your favorite .o .a .so* or executable and you should see version numbers of the input files from the RCS tags.
I'm thinking people don't do this anymore. I guess it is eaiser to 'cover your tracks' if people don't do this.
One quick note, the use for the what command was fairly specific and you may be trying to do something the Microsoft way and need to look at how you do things in the Unix/Linux way. For example shared libraries have major and minor numbers so you don't run into the .dll hell of two apps needing incompatable versions of the same library. Package file in a RedHat are managed by rpm.