[development] Module backwards compatibility

Greg Knaddison - GVS Greg at GrowingVentureSolutions.com
Sat Aug 11 21:03:11 UTC 2007

On 8/11/07, jordan at theoverclocked.com <jordan at theoverclocked.com> wrote:
<snip call for freezing the API over multiple releases>

The original problem you state "trying to get developers to update
their module for the latest Drupal release gets old fast" is a real
problem, but there are multiple ways to solve it without requiring
Drupal core API to be held back by a need to maintain compatibility
with previous releases.

As others have pointed out and hinted towards, there are a couple options:

1. If you want to see it, you can write your own contributed "legacy"
module that would provide the necessary wrappers for modules.  This
seems like a losing proposition to me.

2. The coder module provides assistance with upgrading a module.  If
you can help Doug Green make sure that the module works well, then
that limits the amount of pain for contrib authors during upgrade.

3. For the modules that you'd like to see upgraded you could provide
code, reviews, testing, documentation, or a bounty to motivate the
module maintainer.  For several of my modules if someone just provided
testing and documentation (which anyone can do) it would free me up to
focus on the code.  And of course if someone else provides the upgrade
patch...that simplifies everything.

4. Just embrace the "Drop is always moving" philosophy and move on.  I
wrote about this and other occasionally surprising Drupal philosophies
in a welcome guide for "seasoned professionals"
 and you can find the original documentation on this particular social
norm at http://drupal.org/node/65922

I appreciate the time you've taken to identify a problem and propose
one solution, but I think any time working towards a backwards
compatible API would itself be wasted work.


Greg Knaddison
Denver, CO | http://knaddison.com
World Spanish Tour | http://wanderlusting.org/user/greg

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