[wp-hackers] Wordpress minor versions changing things for no reason, why?

Travis Snoozy ai2097 at users.sourceforge.net
Fri Oct 12 05:03:30 GMT 2007

On Fri, 12 Oct 2007 14:34:30 +1000, DD32 <wordpress at dd32.id.au> wrote:

> On Fri, 12 Oct 2007 13:40:51 +1000, Jared Bangs <jared at pacific22.com>
> wrote:
> > My best advice would be to follow WP development as closely as you
> > can, and (if time permits) either fix the plugins prior to the WP
> > release or at least put a notice up that advises users of the
> > upcoming incompatibility.
> I'd suggest testing with the beta versions at least (And keeping in
> mind that even then, it may change in the final beta releases) if you
> dont have enough time to follow Core Dev.

... not even then. 2.3 RC1 broke stuff that seemed to work fine up
until that point (IIRC, this is when the post2cat et. al. tables were
actually dropped). Unless you were following dev, you wouldn't have
expected that. And the fixes plugin-side were certainly non-trivial.
Following the betas gained you pretty much nothing in this case.

> Unless you're only using WordPress API functions, you cannot be sure
> that the plugin will be forward compatible,

... not even then. I've had several API functions change behavior on me
across WordPress major versions, and have the compatibility logic in my
plugin code to prove it.

> Theres simply too many things which can change during development to
> maintain backwards compatibility with non-API functionality. WP Devs
> do their best to maintain that all API functionality stays backwards
> compatible with older releases, I dont think you can hope for more
> than that in any Product.

An API without test-grade documentation is no API at all. In some
cases, it's impossible to tell a bug fix from a breaking change -- and
in practice, the difference is almost nil. Some very interesting and
subtle differences exist between the major versions of WordPress with
regards to how some functions work.

So, what's left? Pretty much the only way to be compatible is to test,
test, and test some more. It's a huge time commitment, a PITA, and
otherwise an unpleasant mess. The alternative is to screw the users on
the new version, OR screw the users who don't run the latest version
(with the ultimate gravitation being towards the latter).


In Series maintainer
Random coder & quality guy

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