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Re: Deprecation of X

From: Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>
Date: Fri, 8 Apr 2011 19:06:53 +0200
Message-ID: <BANLkTinvvONWvVbJhb4d+6fBE+4Sk9EbMw@mail.gmail.com>
To: Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org>
Cc: Richard Cyganiak <richard@cyganiak.de>, nathan@webr3.org, RDF WG <public-rdf-wg@w3.org>
On 8 April 2011 18:55, Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org> wrote:
> On Fri, 2011-04-08 at 13:27 +0100, Richard Cyganiak wrote:
>> On 8 Apr 2011, at 12:38, Nathan wrote:
>> > Rather than strictly deprecating certain features, can we modularize them in to another "extensions" specification, or working note, perhaps together with steps publishers / consumers can take to factor them out?
>> >
>> > Else, are we versioning "RDF" such that people can tell, oh this is RDF 1 which supports x,y,z and this is RDF 1.x which does not?
>>
>> At the Stanford workshop there was a lot of talk about “weak deprecation”, meaning something like: Conforming implementations MUST still support it, but newly created data SHOULD NOT use it. There is no intention of removing the feature entirely in a future version of the spec.
>>
>> Going much further than that probably is not desirable, nor really possible given the constraints set by the charter.
>
> When I was writing up these issues, I started to use the term "weakly
> deprecate", then I stopped and looked up the word "deprecate":
>
>        In computer software or authoring programs standards and
>        documentation, the term deprecation is applied to software
>        features that are superseded and should be avoided. Although
>        deprecated features remain in the current version, their use may
>        raise warning messages recommending alternative practices, and
>        deprecation may indicate that the feature will be removed in the
>        future. Features are deprecated—rather than being removed—in
>        order to provide backward compatibility and give programmers who
>        have used the feature time to bring their code into compliance
>        with the new standard.
>
>        -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deprecation
>
> Isn't this exactly what we mean?   We could deprecate rdf:Seq but say we
> wont remove it for at least 99 more years.
>
> For some reason, though, everyone seems to think "deprecate" means
> "remove".   So maybe we do have to make up some new word.   I'd rather
> just be clear about them being "deprecated-not-removed".

So that makes sense for software, and software-related features such
as "does an RDF/XML parser need to do anything special for reification
or rdf:Seq vocabs?".

For *data* (and data should outlive software by years), I find this
uncomfortable. Properties and classes generally just mean whatever
they mean. Their use in various patterns passes in and out of fashion,
but I don't find it quite comparable to software. Documents generally
aren't maintained the same way...

Dan
Received on Friday, 8 April 2011 17:07:21 GMT

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