> We would - for example - in Ubuntu have a problem with an old
libmysqlclient that is installed along a new mysql-8 that brings newer
incompatible charsets to /usr/share/mysql.

Isn't this just an assumption? AIUI, the only thing that is clear is
that MariaDB doesn't understand the latest data schema for
/usr/share/mysql that MySQL uses.

On "old libmysqlclient", it's completely normal for /usr/share/* to
update schemas in a way that older versions might not understand. What
matters is that we (neither Debian nor Ubuntu) do not ship a package in
a single distribution release that reads but doesn't understand it,
including during an upgrade.

AIUI, this is just MariaDB? If MariaDB can't understand MySQL's
/usr/share/mysql/ schema, surely it should use a different directory?

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  libmysqlclient21 use of /usr/share/mysql collides with mariadb-server-
  core-10.3's use of the same directory

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