Deprecation policy

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Revision as of 07:25, 16 February 2009

As bioinformatics and computational biology are developing quickly, some of previously developed Biopython modules may no longer be relevant in today's world. To keep the code base clean, we aim to deprecate and remove such code from Biopython, while avoiding any nasty surprises for users who may be relying on older code.

This is the (unofficial) policy for deprecating and removing code from Biopython:

  • First, it is a good idea to ask on the biopython and biopython-dev mailing lists whether a given piece of code has any users. Please keep in mind that not all users are following the biopython-dev mailing list.
  • If there are no apparent users, you can add a DeprecatingWarning to the code.
import warnings
warnings.warn("""\
Bio.SomeModule has been deprecated, and we intend to remove it in a future release of Biopython. Please use the SomeOtherModule instead, as described in the Tutorial. If you would like to continue using Bio.SomeModule, please contact the Biopython developers at biopython-dev@biopython.org""",
             DeprecationWarning)
  • In principle, we require that two Biopython releases carrying the deprecation warning are made before the code can be actually removed.
  • In addition, at least one year should pass between the first Biopython release carring the deprecation warning, and the first Biopython release in which the code has been actually removed.

See here for the discussion on the mailing list:

http://lists.open-bio.org/pipermail/biopython-dev/2008-November/004920.html

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