It is very likely that I am misunderstanding the documentation as I'm new to PostGIS, but it says here regarding the "addGeometryColumn" function that since version 2.0.0 of PostGIS:
This function no longer updates geometry_columns [...] So for example building a wgs84 POINT column with this function is now equivalent to: ALTER TABLE some_table ADD COLUMN geom geometry(Point,4326);
However, the command line tool "shp2pgsql" which was shipped with the "postgis" package (I am on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS xenial) generates SQL containing the addGeometryColumn() function, for example:
I am definitely using PostGIS 2.5:
SELECT postgis_version(); 2.5 USE_GEOS=1 USE_PROJ=1 USE_STATS=1
Since the shp2pgsql tool was shipped with the postgis package, I would have expected it to conform to PostGIS 2.5 specification. Why then does it still use this method? Is it for backwards compatibility? Have I misunderstood the docs?