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From Simon Willnauer <>
Subject Re: back compat is good
Date Wed, 10 Jun 2009 18:47:57 GMT
On Wed, Jun 10, 2009 at 7:00 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.
I have been around since 1.4 and looking back from today I assume it
is/was worth all the pain. Being able to not looking at lucene for 1
1/2 years and using it again without thinking too much about what has
changed is a huge advantage!

On the other hand, I really appreciate the decision of the Python
community moving forward and getting rid of legacy code, functions,
interfaces etc. in P3K. Each time you decide to take such a step you
will be in the same situation with back compatibility. I would not
change the policy and rather go a similar way as the python community
went with p3k.
A clean cut can have major advantages but after breaking compatibility
keep on sticking to the policy is a must I guess. the bad thing about
APIs is that you have only one chance to get it right.

I did not follow the thread about back compat at all so if that has
been proposed / discussed just ignore it.

> 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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