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From "Carsten Ziegeler" <>
Subject RE: Proposal: release management guide (was Re: [RT] Versions)
Date Thu, 22 Apr 2004 19:50:08 GMT
Tim Larson wrote: 
> I am *so* happy to see this policy being worked on :) When I 
> earlier proposed we write a document like this the interest 
> seemed minimal, so I did not push very hard.  Glad to see it 
> is gathering steam now.

> > Applications that write against a particular version will 
> remain usage 
> > compatible against later versions, until the major number changes.
> > Writing an application against a version means that this 
> application 
> > does not use any deprecated API of that version. Therefore minor 
> > version changes are only usage compatible from one minor version to 
> > the direct following one. For example 2.2 is usage 
> compatible to 2.1.
> > But 2.3 is not necessary usage compatible to 2.1, although 
> it is usage 
> > compatible to 2.2. As long as you don't use deprecated API, your 
> > application is usage compatible across all minor versions.
> > 
> > Example: 
> > - a feature is introduced in 2.0 and used by the application.
> > - it is deprecated in 2.2.
> > - it will be removed in 2.3.
> If it happens that 2.3 comes very soon after 2.2, then the 
> deprecated code in effect was just deleted and not put 
> through a normal deprecation cycle.  Perhaps we need to also 
> set a minimum length of time that deprecated features will 
> live, to ensure that deprecation is a meaningful process and 
> not just a formality.
Hmm, yes, this is a valid point. Looking back, it always took
some time between our releases, so I think we don't have to
set a strict rule for this. We should just decide on a case
by case base if the time inbetween releases has been long
enough or if we should keep the deprecated stuff in the
next minor release and remove it one minor release later.

> Also, we should define what deprecation means, such as 
> whether simple but severe security issues will receive 
> updates, even though more ongoing or complex updates will not 
> happen to deprecated code.
Can you please explain this a little bit? Do you mean, what
will happen if security issues arise in deprecated code?

> > External Libraries
> > ------------------
> > Cocoon uses a set of external libraries (like for example Avalon, 
> > Xalan or Xerces). Inbetween any release, even patch releases, the 
> > versions of the external libraries might be updated to any version.
> > 
> > Therefore if your application is written against a special 
> API of an 
> > external library it might be that this API of the external library 
> > changes inbetween two Cocoon versions and therefore your 
> application 
> > does not work properly anymore (or even does not compile anymore).
> > Unfortunately, this issue is out of the scope of Cocoon.
> I echo Bruno's concern here.  If we do an incompatible update 
> of a library, and then cocoon starts to rely on the new 
> features, then a user cannot just revert the library update 
> to get a system as compatible as our versioning scheme would 
> indicate we are shipping.  To our users and developers it 
> would feel like we broke our own versioning rules.
> Since *we* are the ones bundling the libraries I think this 
> issue is in the scope of Cocoon.  If a user were pulling in 
> external libraries on their own, then that is what would be 
> out of our scope.
Yes, agreed. And we should really start updating libaries only
if there is really a good reason for it.


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