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From Michael McCandless <>
Subject Re: Proposal for changing the backwards-compatibility policy
Date Tue, 16 Jun 2009 12:07:50 GMT
+1 to all 4.


On Tue, Jun 16, 2009 at 6:37 AM, Michael Busch<> wrote:
> Probably everyone is thinking right now "Oh no! Not again!". I admit I
> didn't fully read the incredibly long recent thread about
> backwards-compatibility, so maybe what I'm about to propose has been
> proposed already. In that case my apologies in advance.
> Rather than discussing our current backwards-compatibility policy
> again, I'd like to make here a concrete proposal for changing the policy
> after Lucene 3.0 is released.
> I'll call X.Y -> X+1.0 a 'major release', X.Y -> X.Y+1 a
> 'minor release' and X.Y.Z -> X.Y.Z+1 a 'bugfix release'. (we can later
> use different names; just for convenience here...)
> 1. The file format backwards-compatiblity policy will remain unchanged;
>   i.e. Lucene X.Y supports reading all indexes written with Lucene
>   X-1.Y. That means Lucene 4.0 will not have to be able to read 2.x
>   indexes.
> 2. Deprecated public and protected APIs can be removed if they have
>   been released in at least one major or minor release. E.g. an 3.1
>   API can be released as deprecated in 3.2 and removed in 3.3 or 4.0
>   (if 4.0 comes after 3.2).
> 3. No public or protected APIs are changed in a bugfix release; except
>   if a severe bug can't be changed otherwise.
> 4. Each release will have release notes with a new section
>   "Incompatible changes", which lists, as the names says, all changes that
>   break backwards compatibility. The list should also have information
>   about how to convert to the new API. I think the eclipse releases
>   have such a release notes section.
> The big change here apparently is 2. Consider the current situation:
> We can release e.g. the new TokenStream API with 2.9; then we can
> remove it a month later in 3.0, while still complying with our current
> backwards-compatibility policy. A transition period of one month is
> very short for such an important API. On the other hand, a transition
> period of presumably >2 years, until 4.0 is released, seems very long
> to stick with a deprecated API that clutters the APIs and docs. With
> the proposed change, we couldn't do that. Given our current release
> schedule, the transition period would at least be 6-9 months, which
> seems a very reasonable timeframe.
> We should also not consider 2. as a must. I.e. we don't *have* to
> deprecate after one major or minor release already. We could for a
> very popular API like the TokenStream API send a mail to java-user,
> asking if people need more transition time and be flexible.
> I think this policy is much more dynamic and flexible, but should
> still give our users enough confidence. It also removes the need to
> do things just for the sake of the current policy rather than because
> they make the most sense, like our somewhat goofy X.9 releases. :)
> Just to make myself clear: I think we should definitely stick with our
> 2.9 and 3.0 plans and change the policy afterwards.
> My +1 to all 4 points above.
> -Michael
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