Should BC be applied to new libraries? (was RFC: New Module kdesdklibs?)

David Jarvie djarvie at
Sat Jul 25 16:33:10 BST 2009

On Saturday 25 July 2009 16:06:48 Andreas Pakulat wrote:
> Hmm, seems we already have quite a lot modules with inter-dependencies.
> As I'm also not sure about being able to keep BC for all of KDE4
> lifetime once we release the new module I'll just put the library into
> kdesdk for now and let kdevplatform depend on kdesdk. Same for being
> able to use komparepart.

This isn't the most satisfactory outcome - it would be better if shared code 
could be separated out into library modules. But I understand your reasons, 
which prompts me to wonder again if we have the right BC policy for new 

For established libraries, there are very good reasons to insist on BC being 
maintained for the life of KDE4. What I would question is whether there 
shouldn't be another category of "new library", which for a limited period of 
time - say 6 or 12 months - would be allowed to break BC. Provided the 
potential for breakage was made as clear as possible to developers using the 
library, I don't see the harm. The wider testing of the library which could 
result from making the library available for external use should help to 
improve the code and API, before it has to be set in stone. Without wider 
testing, it will not always be possible to develop the "perfect" API, so does 
the current policy not actually tend to hinder development of new libraries?

David Jarvie.
KDE developer.
KAlarm author and maintainer.

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