Back To The Future -- LibreOffice 4.0 API

Posted by Bjoern Michaelsen on 19 May 2011

Back To The Future -- LibreOffice 4.0 API

Marty McFly: Wait a minute, Doc. Ah... Are you telling me that you built a time machine... out of a DeLorean?
Dr. Emmett Brown: The way I see it, if you're gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?

Following this lively discussion on the developer mailing list, we came to the conclusion that we need a wiki page to collect all the stuff we would like to change, but can not now, because it would make us to brutally incompatible. This is:

  • not because we want to change everything right now and break existing client of the API.
  • also not because we never want to change the API and just want to postpone this topic ad infinitum.

It is because a change in API is something very painful for the clients and thus should not be done incrementally, because then the API will always be broken for somebody then -- making everyone losing their trust. So a change in API has to be a very rare and big event: it has to be one deep quick cut.

The LibreOffice4 wiki page is there to prepare for this: Once we decide to go that way, we should have all the brainstorms, discussions and flamewars behind us. Once we decide to go that way, we will have a clear vision of the benefits and drawbacks of the changes and will be excited to make the move. Up until then however, nothing will break the API. It will take a lot of time and work to get to that point where the step will be the right thing to do, but right now you can help us by proposing ideas there and discuss the proposals by others to make LibreOffice better in a big way.

This was originally published at 2011-05-19 19:49:00/2011-05-19 19:49:00 on livejournal.