[Numpy-discussion] API policy

Ralf Gommers ralf.gommers at googlemail.com
Tue Jun 26 17:02:44 EDT 2012

On Tue, Jun 26, 2012 at 9:34 PM, Travis Oliphant <travis at continuum.io>wrote:

> I think we need to update this document:
> http://projects.scipy.org/numpy/wiki/ApiDeprecation

Sounds fine to me to make the period for removal longer, or even to by
default aim to not remove deprecated API's at all in minor release (unless
the deprecation is due to buggy or incorrect behavior?).

> I don't think this characterizes the opinion of all involved in NumPy
> development (it is certainly not the way I view our commitment to users).
> Incidentally, in the migration from Trac we should move all pages like this
> from Trac to Github pages or some other location.
> The idea that APIs should disappear after one minor release really needs
> to be re-visited -- especially if there is a strong interest in changing
> the APIs as there has been in the move from 1.5.x to 1.6 and then from 1.6
> to 1.7.    This created a situation where a large number of people who did
> not take the 1.6.x upgrade could potentially have APIs that disappear.

This last sentence doesn't make sense, I'm sorry. Please read the release
notes. In 1.6.0 there was exactly one deprecation, the "normed" keyword in
histogram(). And in 1.6.1 and 1.6.2 there were none of course.

I agree with what you're arguing for here (as little impact as possible on
existing users), but your view of especially 1.6.x seems to be skewed by
regressions and changes that were either unintended or thought to be okay
because the affected numpy behavior was undocumented / off-label /
untested. The poor test coverage being the number one culprit (example
regression: http://projects.scipy.org/numpy/ticket/2078).

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