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

From: Eli Barzilay (eli at barzilay.org)
Date: Sat Oct 1 17:28:50 EDT 2011

Two hours ago, Neil Toronto wrote:
> On 10/01/2011 12:18 PM, Neil Van Dyke wrote:
> > Option #1 seems like an easy way to go, from what I can see.
> Okay, you've almost got me convinced again. I'm so
> wishy-washy. Sorry, Eli.

Just to make my point here (since I avoided this thread): the
important question from my POV is of work that you will need to deal
with, vs benefit from that work.  This poll thread, as I suspected,
shows that there are no important uses of `plot' from people who would
find it difficult to replace (require plot) to (require plot/compat).
(And that means that even Robby is not such a person.)

Now, maintaining a compatibility collection named `plot' means that
there will be more work dealing with it, and as small as this might
seem, the expected benefits of that are so far zero.  But it's still
your choice, as the person who needs to do all this work.  As far as
the rest of us go, we're losing some potential improvements that you
could have implemented in that time.

And to go up a level -- all of that is not any point that can be
generalized to anything else.  I consider these cases as each
requiring its own decision.  It only happens that in this particular
case the benefits are so small, that any work seems wasted.
Especially given the history of the collection as undermaintained,
hard to use, and problematic to build.  This is *completely* different
from Matthew changing something in the core language, where making
both the new and the old APIs work together -- the changes there can
be much more subtle (since they're almost always gradual, not a new
reimplementation), breaking stuff there is harder to follow (since
it's often not just changing a `require'), and even finding places
that would need to be adjusted is hard (which code will break if
`define-struct' gets the same semantics of `struct'?) compared to just
looking for (require plot).

At this point, the amount of noise generated by this discussion is
definitely too much.  The reason I suggested a *poll* was to have a
clean measure of the benefits/cost amounts, not to start a discussion
on the philosophical aspects of software changes and how to deal with
them.  It's not the first time that such changes happened -- and
frankly, I'm surprised at how much noise this thing has lead to.
Compare that to the web-server change wrt responses -- this is a much
more established library which is used by much more real code, yet
adding a `compat' module went almost without a peep.

OK, that was about 400 words more than it should have been.  Better to
spend that eneregy in making the new plot be a better library.
(Regardless of how you choose to do that.)

          ((lambda (x) (x x)) (lambda (x) (x x)))          Eli Barzilay:
                    http://barzilay.org/                   Maze is Life!

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