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From Michael McCandless <>
Subject Re: back compat is good
Date Wed, 10 Jun 2009 18:01:26 GMT
Well... Lucene still seems to be experiencing strong adoption/growth,
eg combined user+dev email traffic:

Net/net, I also think that back-compat is important and we shouldn't
up and abandon it or relax our policy too much.

However, I wish we had better tools for *implementing* our policy.
Really, the programming language should provide facilities... but it
won't (for a looong time), so we discuss our own solutions like

And it pains me when our back compat policy forces us to sacrifice new
users' experience (not being to change default settings; not being
able to fix bugs in analyzers; etc).  At least we have an OK
workaround for that, and I also think we have softened our stance on
when to make exceptions here.


On Wed, Jun 10, 2009 at 1:00 PM, Yonik Seeley<> wrote:
> I'm starting to feel like the lone holdout that thinks back compat for
> commonly used interfaces and index formats is important.  So I'll sum
> up some of my thoughts and leave it at that:
> - I doubt that the number of new users for each release of Lucene
> exceeds the sum total of all existing users of Lucene.  Lucene is
> already the dominant open source search library, so we're never going
> to hit that type of exponential growth going forward.  Existing users
> are very important.
> - Good back compat makes the lives of all Lucene users easier
> - Good back compat makes the lives of Lucene developers easier in some
> ways also.  We don't *need* to go back and patcholder releases, since
> we can say "use a newer release".  If things change too much, that
> will no longer be an easy option for many users, and more people will
> get stuck in the past because upgrading is too painful.
> - The difficulty of change can also be a good thing - it forces people
> to really think if changes are worth it and only add them where it
> really makes sense.
> The last threads on back compat generated so much volume that I
> couldn't keep up, and I expect there are many others that couldn't
> either.  I'm not personally interested in discussing it in the
> abstract further... I'm more interested in actual code
> patches/proposals.
> -Yonik
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