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Date: -- (:)
From: Till Varoquaux <till@p...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] OCaml 3.12.0+beta1
On Thu, Jun 24, 2010 at 2:59 PM,  <Florent.Ouchet@imag.fr> wrote:
> Martin Jambon <martin.jambon@ens-lyon.org> a écrit :
>>
>> I disagree.  The syntax is a new and optional feature.  Authors who want
>> their
>> new code to compile with an earlier version of OCaml should simply avoid
>> using
>> the new feature, as always.
>
> The 3.12 version number is just minor increment. It should keep backward
> compatibility with the 3.x branch as much as possible.
>
>> Finally we'll be able to use pattern matching on records for real and it's
>> really cool.  That means we can use records where we used to prefer
>> tuples,
>> typically on things like tree nodes.  It will make it easier to add fields
>> when the code evolves, compared to tuples.
>
> Yes, this feature is cool. We agree on this point. However not all systems
> will be updated to 3.12 as soon as the final version is out. Most users rely
> on their linux distribution ocaml (Debian stable is still stuck at 3.10 for
> instance).
>
> For syntax sugar extensions, such as { loc; name; _ }, your "don't use it"
> conclusion can be understood. But for code stabilization syntax extensions,
> such as { ... ; _ }, it's an other story. Users stuck with more stable
> versions of the compiler should be able to use more stable versions of
> software compiled with it.
>
> - Florent

>From wikipedia:

"In the context of telecommunications and computing  a device or
technology is said to be backwards or downwards compatible if it can
work with input generated by an older device"

Do you have an example of old code not being able to compile anymore
because of that change? If so you should probably fill in a bug
report.

As for forward compatibility (ie programs coded with 3.12 in mind
might not compile with 3.10) this is a price I am happy to pay in
order to have a language that's constantly improving. I think that
this is feeling that is shared by many.

And, last but nor least, older does not necessarily mean more stable.
You seem to use those interchangeably in your mail. Windows 3.11 is
old...

Till

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