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From Ross Gardler <rgard...@apache.org>
Subject Re: [RT] cost of smooth migration and/or backward compatibility (was Re: [PROPOSAL] Plugin and themes naming convention)
Date Mon, 13 Feb 2006 13:20:21 GMT
Ferdinand Soethe wrote:
> Ross Gardler wrote:
> 
> 
>>>Is it really asked too much to follow a list of well
>>>documented changes like adjusting plugin names?
> 
> 
>>No, but the reality is that people do not follow a simple list of 
>>instructions, they ask questions and take our time up, or worse still,
>>they move away from Forrest because it is too much work.
> 
> 
> OK. I accept that reality (being part of it myself :-)) so it may be better to
> write a script to migrate them automatically.
> 
> OTOH this very reality is also a good argument for investing time to
> make the system as consistent and logical as can be to avoid
> questions and user problems in the long run.

Agreed.

...

>>The right way, IMHO, is to deprecate old functionality to provide a
>>smooth migration from one version to the next rather than to force users
>>to learn a whole bunch of new things in order to upgrade.

...

>>Of course, sometimes this does not make sense, we need to weigh up each
>>individual cases on its own merits.
> 
> 
> My opinion is we should accept this and admit that
> we are not even 1.0 and we don't want to burden us with too much
> backward compatibility issues before we get there.

 From a technical perspective you are 100% correct. However, we have to 
consider the community perspective too. Todays "basic" user is tomorrows 
"power" user, todays "power" user is tomorrows committer.

If we annoy the "basic" user by making it too hard to upgrade they don't 
become power users and we don't get new committers.

We have to balance technical vs. community issues, and this needs to be 
done on a case by case basis.

>>It is trivial to either write an alias facility for the few plugins we
>>already have, or to write a script to update existing forrest.properties
>>files. In fact it will take less time for one individual to do than for
>>the community (as a collective) to answer the resulting user queries.
> 
> 
> Great, so let's do it.

Go for it ;-)

> My whole point was that it should be either that or let the user's do
> it on upgrade. Not use this as a reason not so clean up
> inconsistencies.

Agreed, in principle (meaning I hope to find the time to write such a 
script, in the meantime lets have new plugins conform to a convention).

> Btw. I really think that a survey of Forrest users, their use cases
> and expectations would very useful for discussions like that.
 >
> Perhaps we can put a questionnaire on the user list?

Personally I find such "surveys" a waste of time, but that could be 
because I don't know how to conduct meaningful surveys. I certainly 
wouldn't stand in the way of anyone trying to understand our users needs.

Ross

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