> libevent: we needed bug fixes and we needed to be able to run on systems
>which didn't have them.
Simple, abort build saying libevent x.y.z is needed, distributors will
figure it out.
>icu: we need a more recent version than was even provided on Karmic.
>libjingle: upstream appears to be unmaintained.
Huh, what about asking your own company to support its own code ?
> sqlite: we added full-text indexing (now upstream) and several
>performance improvements which are rather specific to our use case. We
>don't want to do without them and upstream aren't too interested.
Contact distributors and ask them to add your patches to the system