transitioning release management

David Collier-Brown davecb at
Thu Feb 28 16:59:12 GMT 2008

  There's a good discussion of maintaining API/ABIs (which I
typed in) in a paper at by Paul Stachour...


Derrell Lipman wrote:
> On Wed, Feb 27, 2008 at 7:25 PM, simo <idra at> wrote:
>> Derrell,
>> my fear is that not adding the functionality you make a huge bet on the
>> fact you'll get the API/ABI right.
>> If you find out the new API/ABI does not fit future functionality you
>> will have to break it again. And that would not be painless.
>> How confident are you that you will get it right ?
> That's a reasonable fear.  I'm actually fairly confident though.  My
> changes are to make the internal workings more (nearly completely)
> opaque, meaning that future changes don't affect the ABI at all.  The
> API can then be extended (new functions) but should not need to be
> changed in a non-backward-compatible manner any time in the near
> future.  I'm perfectly happy (eager, in fact) to have others' eyes on
> these changes to make sure I'm not missing anything, but this is
> fairly straight forward stuff even though the patch will appear huge.
>> I agree that a major release is a perfect time to do an API change, but
>> we are planning also to release by April and there are a tons of things
>> to test already. This also weighs in in making me nervous of doing this
>> change right now.
> Understandable.  I'll keep working on this until I'm told that it's a
> no-go.  Hopefully I won't have wasted my time, but I'd rather work on
> it now with the expectation that it'll be able to go in, rather than
> forever have to deal with the status quo. :-)
> Derrell

David Collier-Brown            | Always do right. This will gratify
Sun Microsystems, Toronto      | some people and astonish the rest
davecb at                 |                      -- Mark Twain
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