[webkit-dev] Deprecating features guideline wiki

Ryosuke Niwa rniwa at webkit.org
Sun Apr 29 13:18:12 PDT 2012

On Sun, Apr 29, 2012 at 1:08 PM, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs at apple.com> wrote:

> On Apr 29, 2012, at 1:04 PM, Ryosuke Niwa <rniwa at webkit.org> wrote:
> On Sun, Apr 29, 2012 at 12:37 PM, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs at apple.com> wrote:
>> On Apr 27, 2012, at 6:29 PM, Dirk Pranke <dpranke at chromium.org> wrote:
>> BTW, the page at <https://trac.webkit.org/wiki/DeprecatingFeatures>
>> seems to be using "deprecate" in the sense of "remove entirely". Is that
>> what is meant? If so, I think it would be helpful to change the wording to
>> "removing features". In non-Web contexts, deprecate often means a step
>> short of removal.
>> I agree that "Removing features" is clearer and more to the point :).
>> When to deprecate features in the sense of "we recommend you use this
>> other feature instead" is an entirely different conversation.
>> Now that I look closer, I see that it says:
>> "Deprecating a feature means we will remove it in the future. Deprecation
>> is not meant as a usage metric collection or to assess web-developers'
>> reactions."
>> This seems to imply that there actually is a step of deprecation that
>> comes prior to removal. What exactly is this step? How are features
>> supposed to be marked deprecated? What is the effect of being deprecated,
>> if any, other than future removal? Does anyone who was at the session know
>> the answer?
> I'd assume this is something like outputting a warning in the
> console. (Disclaimer: I didn't attend this session.)
> That sounds plausible, but I'm hoping to hear from someone who attended
> the session to say for sure. If "deprecate" means console warning, followed
> by removal later, then I'd suggest we go straight to removal.

Outputting console warnings prior to a feature removal appears to be a
common practice (e.g. https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=749920).
I'm also afraid that not giving any advance notice for features that have
some users like mutation events might be perceived badly by developers.

On the other hand, I'm certain we don't need to output console warnings if
we're removing features nobody uses (e.g. support for khtml prefixes for
recently added CSS properties).

So we probably can't (and shouldn't) make a unilateral policy here.

- Ryosuke
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