[Numpy-discussion] Removing datetime support for 1.4.x series ?

Travis Oliphant oliphant@enthought....
Thu Feb 4 00:46:17 CST 2010

> A more important scenario is as follows: let's assume we do allow
> breaking the ABI every 1.X release, meaning that an ABI incompatible
> change happens every ~ 6 months at the current pace (using the last  
> 2-3
> years as history).

If the issue is having too many releases that are .X releases, then  
let's just slow that down.   We are going to have to be able to break  
ABI compatibility at some point.  I agree it should not be taken  
lightly.    But, we have to allow it to happen.

For example, there has been a change I've wanted to see in the NumPy  
data structure ever since 1.0 that I did not make precisely to avoid  
breaking ABI compatibility.    The 'hasobject' field in the  
PyArray_Descr structure is too small and should be renamed.    There  
is a comment in the code stating that this field needs to change as  
soon as we are willing to break ABI compatibility (and the field still  
hasn't changed).   The comment is still there.  Obviously I have been  
cautious about ABI compatibility.  I just never had the opinion that  
we would *never* change the ABI.

I don't think there is any disagreement in the general idea that the  
ABI should remain stable for a long time.    I think the problem is  
that in this particular instance, we had different opinions about the  
importance of ABI compatibility for the 1.4 release.   I did not think  
it was possible, and was surprised when it was attempted.    I should  
have voiced those concerns more loudly.

What about the idea of making a 1.3.1 release that maintains ABI  
compatibility with previous releases.  This would basically allow for  
1.X releases where .X is even to break ABI compatibility (not saying  
they always will, but might).  The odd releases never do.

I will help make the 1.3.1 release if this is an agreeable solution.    
This pattern would certainly help create stability while still  
allowing change to happen in a reasonable way.


Travis Oliphant
Enthought Inc.

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