[asdf-devel] Alternate default lisp system location

Stelian Ionescu sionescu at cddr.org
Thu Mar 13 09:59:38 UTC 2014

On Wed, 2014-03-12 at 23:30 -0400, Daniel Herring wrote:
> On Wed, 12 Mar 2014, Faré wrote:
> > Major changes like that happen less than once a year (ASDF 2 in 2010,
> > ASDF 3 in 2013, ASDF 3.1 soon in 2014), and while
> > backward-compatibility has always been a huge priority, improvements
> > sometimes do mean the recommended way of using ASDF changes, for the
> > better.
> For essential infrastructure like what ASDF claims to be, I expect major 
> changes to happen less than once every 5 to 10 years.

You can expect whatever you want, but unless somebody is paid full-time
to work on ASDF, it's not going to happen.

> The more backwards compatibility, the better.  Projects like glibc
> have developed significant infrastructure to enable transparent
> improvements (see the ABI compliance checker, DSO symbol versioning,
> etc.).

See above. That kind of backwards-compatibility is very difficult and

> Every breaking change inflicts cost on a fraction of the existing 
> userbase, in exchange for some proposed benefit to future users.  Every 
> time I have to debug breakage and change something or redesign my workflow 
> to maintain existing capability, it encourages me to explore other, more 
> stable or better designed options...
> Sometimes "good ideas" fade after a month or two of reflection.  Some 
> survive the test because the benefit truly outweighs the cost.  When that 
> is the case, it is often helps to give the community time to prepare and 
> minimize the number of times the community must change.  So propose the 
> change, allow a long RFC window, allow users to obtain test 
> implementations (while still promoting the stable branch), wait a while 
> for several changes to collect before pushing them into major new 
> releases, etc.

I agree that an RFC-like process would be useful, instead of jumping in
and implementing new features, as long as it's not too lengthy.

Stelian Ionescu a.k.a. fe[nl]ix
Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur.

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