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From Christopher <>
Subject Re: Official Guidance to users regarding removal of functions
Date Thu, 11 Dec 2014 17:37:43 GMT
On Thu, Dec 11, 2014 at 11:36 AM, Kepner, Jeremy - 0553 - MITLL <> wrote:

> When we remove functions, do we have any official guidance to our users
> who may have built applications that use those functions?
I assume by "functions", you mean API, not functionality. To my knowledge,
Accumulo has never removed functionality (except where it was broken, as in
support for ViewFS between 1.6.0 and 1.6.1), only changed the way that
functionality is leveraged.

> Right now, the official position is that the Accumulo developers can
> remove based on a consensus vote. However, this provides no guidance to
> users as to what they are suppose to do? As it stands, our guidance is that
> they have the following choices:
Well, lazy consensus, yes, though we've taken care in the last few releases
to ensure more compatibility, and that has been brought up in the
release-candidate testing.

> (0) Diligently watch the Accumulo e-mail list and aggressively weigh in on
> any vote to remove functions that may impact them.
With the (expected) adoption of Semver to guide our release planning, we'll
be able to communicate changes which impact users much more clearly, so you
don't have to watch the mailing lists or commits to anticipate them. Of
course, if you want to provide feedback on change proposals, more active
involvement will still be necessary.

> (1) Find someone to modify the original source code of their applications,
> build it, and *re-verify* the application. I emphasise the re-verify
> because that is usually the most costly part of the process that often
> won't get approved by management.
With Semver, you won't need to do this for major versions. You'll be able
to rely on the fact that no removals will occur in that major version.
You'll only need to go through this if you want to jump major versions.
Obviously, that's a choice you'll have to make. You could also lobby for or
contribute updates you'd like for the major version you use, if you
want/need new features and you don't want to update a major version.

> (2) Don't upgrade Accumulo.

That's a choice you'd have to make based on your individual requirements.
What we can do as developers is help you make an informed decision, by
communicating what it means to change a version number. Keep in mind also,
that a new version which drops old API doesn't mean that you must upgrade.
The previous major version can still be supported for some time, with new
features and bug fixes in minor and patch releases, respectively (though
obviously, that depends on the degree to which contributors provide patches
for that version).

Christopher L Tubbs II

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