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planned obsolescence

From: Dave Kristol <dmk@allegra.att.com>
Date: Fri, 18 Aug 95 12:44:19 EDT
Message-Id: <199508181646.AA050034361@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
To: http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com
Anyone who has maintained large old software systems knows how hard it
is to support lots of old versions compatibly.  (I've supported C
compilers that still allowed the =op form of assignment operator....) I
would like to propose that the HTTP spec. include a time limit, as well
as a versioning limit.

Section 3.1 of v10-spec-01 describes the rules for dealing with major
releases, and which old ones must be supported.  I would like to add a
statement that also sets a time limit for supporting antique versions.
For example, the HTTP/1.1 specification might say that after January 1,
1997, conforming WWW software need not support HTTP/0.9 transactions.
Vendors would be free to continue to support legacy systems, but they
would not be required to do so to remain conforming.

Software accretions imperil the health of any software system.
Occasionally scraping them away will reduce size and complexity and
increase speed.

Dave Kristol
Received on Friday, 18 August 1995 09:48:37 EDT

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