There are pros and cons to having users:

  • Pro: Yay! Somebody actually thinks your software is decent enough to use
  • Cons: Actually having to be responsible for making your software work in a wide variety of cases.

One thing you should consider once you have users is gracefully handling changes to your published APIs. If you want to change something, you probably should help users of your software to transition. MOOSE has several features that makes this easy. The general practice is to add new code but leave the old code in place for awhile. You'll have to support two ways of doing things but you can help users move to the new way and eventually delete the old way.

  1. First add your new code, possibly adding a new API or just branching off from your old one.
  2. Now you need to mark the old code as deprecated to discourage it's use. This can be done by using the macro mooseDeprecated() possibly in conjunction with mooseDoOnce() to avoid seeing hundreds or thousands of messages on your terminal.
  3. If you are just changing parameters you might also use MOOSE's InputParameters::addDeprecatedParam*() methods to help users find new parameters.

Dealing with tests that need to use deprecated code

if you are contributing to the MOOSE test suite, the modules test suite, or applications that might not allow any warnings in their test suite through the use of the TestHarness option --error which turns all warnings into errors.

  1. First identify which tests are going to cause you problems. You can do this by just running the test suite in the effected applications and seeing if you get any errors due to deprecation.
  2. If you can't update the test, consider using the allow_deprecated_until parameter to the effected test. Choose a date in the near future at which time the test will revert to throwing errors if the deprecated code hasn't been cleaned up.
    type = Exodiff
    allow_deprecated_until = '06/01/2016'

IMPORTANT: Actually update the code before the date passes to avoid holding up the smooth purring CIVET machine.

Current rating: 5


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