[racket] Poll: Does anybody besides Doug use 'plot'?

From: Robby Findler (robby at eecs.northwestern.edu)
Date: Sat Oct 1 18:48:30 EDT 2011

On Sat, Oct 1, 2011 at 5:27 PM, Eli Barzilay <eli at barzilay.org> wrote:
> Just now, Robby Findler wrote:
>> Why is this work lessed by changing the name from plot to
>> plot/compat?
> Because of the name.  `compat' means "you're lucky that it works, if
> something is broken, then just do the work and upgrade your code".
> (Yes, I know that it doesn't mean just that, it's leaning more in that
> direction.)
>> For the record, I complained about that. (And then later was bitten
>> by it :)
> OK, as someone who was bitten by the same (but wanted it), I'll make a
> point from it: IIRC, the alternative was having a `web-server2', and
> leaving `web-server' as the compatibility layer.  How much code has
> changed as a result of *not* doing that?  IMO, that's making progress:
> when you have to touch the file, you will often "just as well" just
> use the new code instead of sticking to the compatibility stuff.
> Having `web-server' stay the same in addition to a bunch of
> `web-serverN' means more choice -- in a bad way.  (A point that was
> discussed recently from a different angle: having too many options is
> not always a good thing.  A point that is painfully obvious for any
> iGadget user...)  In any case, it's more choice that also lets you
> conveniently slip up and not update your code, which overall
> translates to a bunch of additional work.  Worse, letting you go on
> with unmodified code very often means that the code will not be
> modified, and we get into the "dark side of compatibility" with some
> ridiculously old code that is unlikely to ever be dropped.  (And I
> won't get into the "size matters" meta-point.)
> So obviously there is a line here: on one hand you put effort in
> compatibility layers and have more stability and less innovation, and
> on the other side you have changing libraries but of course more
> innovation.  A good point to balance at is therefore an inherently
> subjective point, and depends on the effort that the author wants to
> invest.  To make it more fun, it also depends on factors like "how
> much code is affected", "how important is that code", and "how easy it
> is to update that code", and that's exactly why I'm saying that
> generalizations are impossible and each case needs to be judged
> independently.
> In the current case of `plot', I think that all of the above
> considerations are overwhelmingly pointing at an obvious side.  But
> that's subjective, and different than what you think.  It's a pity
> that it turned into such a pile of verbiage instead of being just a
> poll.
> (And that was yet another 400 words too many, so I'll shut up now.)

I agree with all that in the case of the web-server (although I wish
that there was a better error message).

(And I was going to add more about how I think plot is different, but
I realized I was just writing the same thing I wrote before, so I
saved whoever gets this far another 100 or so words :).


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