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What about a decorator module version 3.0?
by Michele Simionato
November 30, 2008
Summary
I am asking the users of my decorator module if they would accept a new version breaking backward compatibility in a minor way.

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I am thinking about releasing a new version of the decorator module, completely rewritten from scratch. The new implementation takes half the lines of the original one and it is much more general, so I like it more. However, there is an issue of compatibility with the past and I am asking here for feedback from my users.

I have already broken backward compatibility in the past, with version 2.0 of the module, and I could break it again in version 3.0. However, the breakage in version 2.0 was very minor and at the time the module had very few users so that nobody ever complained.

Nowadays there are a lot of people using it and there are frameworks relying on it (such as Pylons) so I am reluctant to break compatibility, even in minor ways.

I want to ask people how do they use the module. If you just use the decorator function, that will continue to work as before and I do not think I will ever break that functionality - actually I am thinking of enhancing it.

However, over the time I have added other utilities to the module - I am referring to getinfo and new_wrapper - and I would like to get rid of them. Actually I would like to deprecate them in decorator 3.0 and to remove them in decorator 3.1 or later on, after a grace period of one year or so.

Also, I would like to remove a new feature introduced in version 2.3, i.e. the direct support to decorator factories. I added it in haste and now I have changed my mind. Is there anybody using that functionality? I want to offer an alternative which does not involve magically adding a __call__ method to a class.

In general I want to remove a few things because I feel they add to the learning curve without offering a compelling benefit, or because I think the new implementation offer better ways to do the same job.

If nobody uses those features I will remove them; on the other hand, if this is too much of a breakage, I will just start a new project with a different name. The old decorator module will continue to live forever, but the developement on it will stop and the new things will go in the new module.

Personally, I would like to keep the name, and to add some support for Python 3.0: decorator 3.0 sounds good for Python 3.0, and the change I have in mind is the same kind of change which happened for Python 3.0, i.e. a simplification more than an addition of new features.

What do you people think?

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About the Blogger

Michele Simionato started his career as a Theoretical Physicist, working in Italy, France and the U.S. He turned to programming in 2003; since then he has been working professionally as a Python developer and now he lives in Milan, Italy. Michele is well known in the Python community for his posts in the newsgroup(s), his articles and his Open Source libraries and recipes. His interests include object oriented programming, functional programming, and in general programming metodologies that enable us to manage the complexity of modern software developement.

This weblog entry is Copyright © 2008 Michele Simionato. All rights reserved.

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