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Re: Thoughts about backwards compatibility

From: Gregory Williams <greg@evilfunhouse.com>
Date: Wed, 24 Apr 2019 16:01:03 -0700
Cc: "SPARQL 1.2 Community Group" <public-sparql-12@w3.org>
Message-Id: <DAC32783-7909-4896-B2CB-F214D81E8701@evilfunhouse.com>
To: Jerven.Bolleman@sib.swiss
On Apr 24, 2019, at 3:14 AM, Jerven Tjalling Bolleman <Jerven.Bolleman@sib.swiss> wrote:
> 
> Second is the "marketplace" backwards compatible.
> Same situation as above, but no one ever implemented A as specified or no-one ever send that kind of query.
> Then while there is a formal change in behaviour no one is impacted because no one used the behaviour.
> 
> I am OK with breaking "formal" backwards compatibility but I am not at all keen on breaking "marketplace" backwards compatibility.
> In that regards I see as an example to follow the Java language stewards whom have the same kind of problem.
> There is a lot of code in the wild, doing even wilder stuff, making money and solving problems.
> Breaking such code should only be done in extremis and after careful evaluation.

Hi Jerven,

I would take the opposite stance. In the case of issue #77 that we’ve been discussing, the “marketplace” implementations do not follow the spec, but they also do not all do the same thing. This seems to me to be a case where the spec needs changing, because there is unintentional incompatibility in existing implementations that make query portability difficult. I think the only reason this isn’t a huge issue in practice is that few people use the encoding syntax in the ways described in #77. That would suggest to me that not only should we fix it, but that there will likely be little real world negative impact to making the fix.

Thanks,
Greg
Received on Wednesday, 24 April 2019 23:01:38 UTC

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