[sugar] Breaking API (Fwd: Minutes of the GTK+ Team Meeting - 2008-09-23)
C. Scott Ananian
Sun Sep 28 11:13:54 EDT 2008
On Sun, Sep 28, 2008 at 6:55 AM, Simon Schampijer <simon at schampijer.de> wrote:
> Hmmm, this is a really tough subject. I guess that we have to guarantee
> some kind of backwards compatibility unless we are totally convinced
> that we fix something broken. I think we have to discuss concrete cases,
> with the thoughts below in mind, and see what we change and what we
> should not.
If there *are* API changes, I much prefer them being documented
clearly (see the django project for example) than silently broken.
Discussing API issues is probably a moot point until/unless we've got
a tool for verifying and guaranteeing API stability. This tool would
ensure that all public methods, fields, and classes, etc, stay that
way in each release, like a tinderbox.
I just dealt with the fallout of arbitrarily changing how
bundlebuilder/setup.py works (locales broke, Pippy broke, etc) and I
can empathize with the frustration this causes.
As an alternative viewpoint, however, consider the amount of
distributed testing resources we have with our platform. We can make
API changes in a development branch/joyride and get a fairly good idea
of how many "important" activities that breaks, based on the outcry.
So some empirical testing is worthwhile, to allow finer distinctions
between "no API changes" and "any API change you like".
( http://cscott.net/ )
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