Maybe ‘version-dependent’ api?  It indicates why the api is unstable (as opposed to something like where the docs say ‘this is for us, we’re not bothered about keeping it stable’).

In some contexts ‘unstable’ means buggy/unreliable.

On 4 Jun 2021, at 00:20, Glenn Linderman <> wrote:

On 6/3/2021 3:34 PM, Guido van Rossum wrote:
On Thu, Jun 3, 2021 at 3:17 PM Tim Delaney <> wrote:
Perhaps "living API" analogous to "living document". Much more positive connotations ...

Perhaps, but that's pretty much coining a new term, which we would then have to explain. And since the opposite would be "dead API", what is a dead API exactly? And doesn't it follow that all APIs are living? If we stick with unstable, we're adopting a term that's in use by at least one other language community (Rust), and the slightly negative connotation is welcome -- people should think twice before using unstable APIs.

I read somewhere that the term "stable" means "dead" in some contexts... was it maybe a medical context?  So "living" would be "unstable" too, as Tim suggested.

And since people know what a living document is, a living API wouldn't be much of a stretch.

On the other hand, "unstable" carries a bit more connotation of "needs caution".
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