There are two tickets (#1006 and #1170) which address shortcomings in the current handling of external libraries in Cactus. I think that the handling of external libraries needs a bit of a redesign, and have created a wiki page (https://docs.einsteintoolkit.org/et-docs/Improving_the_treatment_of_external_libraries) containing a summary of my view of the current situation, and a draft proposal for what to do about it. Perhaps there are other approaches, maybe radically different! Or maybe the current system is the best we can have, for practical reasons. In any case, I think we should have a discussion about this. Please take a look and add notes or comments either in the text of the page or as comments to this ticket.