[XML-SIG] DOM: backward compatibility

Guido van Rossum guido@CNRI.Reston.Va.US
Mon, 21 Sep 1998 16:29:27 -0400

> Working on the DOM code this weekend, I realized that quite a few
> things will be broken by going to the most recent draft.  How
> important is backwards compatibility with the current DOM code?  
> 	I'm not sure how much existing DOM code is out there that will
> be broken by incompatible changes, because I'm not sure if people were
> seriously using it or not.  So if you're using the current DOM code
> for something, please let me know so I can gauge how important
> compatibility is.

I don't know anything about DOM code or how much it is used, but I
would like to relate an anecdote that I once heard about the original
Unix "Make" program.  This was probably around Unix v6.  Someone
inside Bell Labs complained to the author about a particular
misfeature (I believe it was about requiring an actual tab character,
-- instead of any whitespace -- to start a command).  The author
responded that he agreed that it was a misfeature, but that there were
already more than ten users (all inside Bell Labs), so that for
reasons of backwards compatibility he couldn't change it.

Please, be considerate of the future and make things right!

--Guido van Rossum (home page: http://www.python.org/~guido/)