[rfc-i] On backwards compatibility for v2

Ted Lemon mellon at fugue.com
Mon Feb 10 14:15:15 PST 2014

On Feb 10, 2014, at 5:03 PM, Heather Flanagan (RFC Series Editor) <rse at rfc-editor.org> wrote:
> Well, there is a difference between bugs representing a break in
> backwards compatibility and a wholesale toss of the old vocabulary.

Yes.   One is certain, the other under debate on the merits.   The point is that a tool for converting from v2 to v3 will exhibit the exact same failure modes as a v3 that allows all v2 constructs.   So if keeping v2 compatibility is for any reason thought to be suboptimal, the price of giving it up is not that there will be more compatibility issues.   There could be more incompatibility issues with either choice—it depends entirely on how well the implementation captures its v2 compatibility.

One important reason why v2 compatibility is better achieved through translation is that it allows workarounds to be translated into idioms, rather than requiring that workarounds be preserved intact.

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