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From Brian Pontarelli <>
Subject Re: API Compatibility
Date Fri, 22 Feb 2008 14:45:37 GMT

> Before you start such a discussion, I would suggest that you take the time
> to look back, in the archives, through the several years worth of
> discussions in that got us to the point we're at today, so that you _fully_
> understand the context and the reasoning behind the scheme that we have now.
> I really, really don't want to rehash those discussions, because they are
> always very prolonged, they consume vast amounts of time, energy and
> enthusiasm, and they seriously eat into the real development effort because
> of that. I'd much prefer to see the team's effort go into making Struts the
> best that it can be rather than go off down that rat hole.
> The one tip I will give you before you head to the archives is that our
> process is basically the same as the ones used by HTTPD and Tomcat, two of
> the most long-standing projects in all of the ASF, so it's not something we
> made up off the top of our heads. It's been proven in the real world for
> more than a decade.
> All of that said, once you fully understand all of the history, and if you
> still feel you have a really compelling reason for the project to switch to
> another scheme, you are of course absolutely free to propose it. But do
> spend the time first, so that you realise what you are letting yourself -
> and the rest of us - in for, and expect to significantly slow down progress
> on the code until that discussion comes to closure.
I will have to drop off this discussion for the next few days to finish 
up a project I'm working on, but before that I would like to respond to 
folks so that I can still be active in the thread I started.

Martin, I've actually be involved in these discussion before and read up 
on a number of them. I will certainly read the entire set when time 
allows. However, regardless of that reading the scheme is still broken 
and needs to be fixed. This is important to me because I am a maintainer 
of a dependency management tool and where we are today is extremely 
difficult to manage in these tools.

Furthermore, just because other projects do something doesn't make it 
correct. HTTD is a full application not a library. Tomcat is also a full 
application and not a library. Struts is a library and that means people 
have compile and runtime dependencies on it in a much different manner. 
In addition, I don't think I've ever seen Tomcat break API across a 
minor release. This again comes back to developers understanding 


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