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Re: Deprecate vs. discourage

From: Greg Troxel
Subject: Re: Deprecate vs. discourage
Date: Wed, 27 Jan 2010 08:41:37 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.110011 (No Gnus v0.11) Emacs/23.1 (berkeley-unix)

address@hidden (Ludovic Courtès) writes:

> I think things like ‘uniform-vector-read’ should be discouraged rather
> than deprecated, since it matches the definition in ‘discouraged.h’:
>    A discouraged feature is one that shouldn't be used in new code
>    since we have a better alternative now.  However, there is nothing
>    wrong with using the old feature, so it is OK to continue to use
>    it.
> However, discouraged features currently don’t produce any sort of
> warning.  I would suggest using the same technique as
> ‘build-aux/link-warning.h’ to issue a link-time warning.
> What do you think?

Given the history of guile, I suspect that in some number of years a
feature that has been discouraged will get moved to deprecated, and then
removed.  So the question is really what kind of commitment there is to
API/ABI stability, and I don't think there is much.

The key question is whether we mean:

  This feature exists and is the currently-known best way.

  This feature exists and we have no plan to withdraw it, but there's a
  better way.  [and implicitly, the odds of us later deciding to remove
  it are significantly higher than the previous category]

  This feature still exists, and there is a better way.  We're going to
  remove this feature in a future release, so you had really better fix
  your code not to use it.

I think discouraged is the second one.

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