[asdf-devel] In defense of ASDF & Semantic versioning

Robert P. Goldman rpgoldman at sift.info
Wed Nov 20 14:54:56 UTC 2013

Anton Vodonosov wrote:
> 19.11.2013, 23:41, "Robert P. Goldman" <rpgoldman at sift.info>:
>> it's too radical
> It's not radical, actually my proposal is very similar to yours

I am not as optimistic about your approach, but it has two huge advantages:

1.  Unlike my proposal, yours requires no infrastructure support (no
enforcement in ASDF)
2.  Your proposal requires no buy-in

What I mean is that anyone can experiment with your approach to library
versioning simply by following your guidelines for system construction,
and by "branching" a system when its API changes, instead of trying to
manage the issue with version numbering.

If you are right, your approach will provide value and convince people
to adopt it.

I remain pessimistic, and I am not convinced by your argument that
having old library versions is a no-cost solution.  For those old
library versions to be of any value, they will have to be maintained,
and bug fixes will have to be backported (while the API remains
constant).  My guess is that this won't happen and those old versions
will simply bit rot.

But this is an empirical question!  Although pessimistic, I'd be happy
to be wrong, and encourage you to go forth and test out your principles.

Lisp has always been a locus for experimenting with software
engineering; I'm encouraged to see that we are still thinking about how
to do it better.


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