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Re: deprecated features

From: Kevin Ryde
Subject: Re: deprecated features
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2007 09:44:38 +1100
User-agent: Gnus/5.110006 (No Gnus v0.6) Emacs/21.4 (gnu/linux)

Han-Wen Nienhuys <address@hidden> writes:
> Perhaps, but I'm for cleaner code. Having to keep deprecated stuff
> around (and worse: having to write various deprecation wrappers for
> them) is detrimental to code quality.

I would say the contrary is worse.  Users following the advertised
rules are told (exaggerated for rhetorical effect :-) "sucked in; we
said there was this feature, we encouraged you to use it, now it's
gone".  If guile is the official extension language, used by all gnu
packages (in principle) then it's a serious problem.

I expect the effect in practice is, at each incompatible change, to
throw off people who can't, or are not inclined to, update.  For
example gcc stuck to autoconf 2.13 for a long long time because
subsequent changes were incompatible (even though they were cleaner in
both concept and implementation).

Or you end up with versionitis, like 5 versions of automake all in
debian at the same time, because they each have subtle different
effects (even if sensible packages are ok with any of them).

> If the consensus is that removing deprecated features will not ever be
> done, then there is little point in marking routines as such, and
> writing wrappers to signal their use.

Yes.  "Don't do it" is the motto.  

> We could clean up GUILE by throwing away all the bookkeeping.

It has to stay for applications of course.

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