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[v2] doc: policy on promotion of experimental APIs

Message ID 20210701103157.159948-1-mdr@ashroe.eu (mailing list archive)
State Superseded, archived
Delegated to: Thomas Monjalon
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Series [v2] doc: policy on promotion of experimental APIs | expand

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Commit Message

Kinsella, Ray July 1, 2021, 10:31 a.m. UTC
Clarifying the ABI policy on the promotion of experimental APIS to stable.
We have a fair number of APIs that have been experimental for more than
2 years. This policy ammendment indicates that these APIs should be
promoted or removed, or should at least form a conservation between the
maintainer and original contributor.

Signed-off-by: Ray Kinsella <mdr@ashroe.eu>
---
v2: addressing comments on abi expiry from Tyler Retzlaff.

 doc/guides/contributing/abi_policy.rst | 22 +++++++++++++++++++---
 1 file changed, 19 insertions(+), 3 deletions(-)
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Patch

diff --git a/doc/guides/contributing/abi_policy.rst b/doc/guides/contributing/abi_policy.rst
index 4ad87dbfed..840c295e5d 100644
--- a/doc/guides/contributing/abi_policy.rst
+++ b/doc/guides/contributing/abi_policy.rst
@@ -26,9 +26,10 @@  General Guidelines
    symbols is managed with :ref:`ABI Versioning <abi_versioning>`.
 #. The removal of symbols is considered an :ref:`ABI breakage <abi_breakages>`,
    once approved these will form part of the next ABI version.
-#. Libraries or APIs marked as :ref:`experimental <experimental_apis>` may
-   be changed or removed without prior notice, as they are not considered part
-   of an ABI version.
+#. Libraries or APIs marked as :ref:`experimental <experimental_apis>` may be
+   changed or removed without prior notice, as they are not considered part of
+   an ABI version. The :ref:`experimental <experimental_apis>` status of an API
+   is not an indefinite state.
 #. Updates to the :ref:`minimum hardware requirements <hw_rqmts>`, which drop
    support for hardware which was previously supported, should be treated as an
    ABI change.
@@ -358,3 +359,18 @@  Libraries
 Libraries marked as ``experimental`` are entirely not considered part of an ABI
 version.
 All functions in such libraries may be changed or removed without prior notice.
+
+Promotion to stable
+~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
+
+Ordinarily APIs marked as ``experimental`` will be promoted to the stable ABI
+once a maintainer and/or the original contributor is satisfied that the API is
+reasonably mature. In exceptional circumstances, should an API still be
+classified as ``experimental`` after two years and is without any prospect of
+becoming part of the stable API. The API will then become a candidate for
+removal, to avoid the acculumation of abandoned symbols.
+
+Should an API's Binary Interface change during the two year period, usually due
+to a direct change in the to API's signature. It is reasonable for the expiry
+clock to reset. The promotion or removal of symbols will typically form part of
+a conversation between the maintainer and the original contributor.