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django / docs / api_stability.txt

=============
API stability
=============

Although Django has not reached a 1.0 release, the bulk of Django's public APIs are
stable as of the 0.95 release. This document explains which APIs will and will not
change before the 1.0 release.

What "stable" means
===================

In this context, stable means:

   - All the public APIs -- everything documented in the linked documents, and
     all methods that don't begin with an underscore -- will not be moved or
     renamed without providing backwards-compatible aliases.
     
   - If new features are added to these APIs -- which is quite possible --
     they will not break or change the meaning of existing methods. In other
     words, "stable" does not (necessarily) mean "complete."
     
   - If, for some reason, an API declared stable must be removed or replaced, it
     will be declared deprecated but will remain in the API until at least
     version 1.1. Warnings will be issued when the deprecated method is
     called.
     
   - We'll only break backwards compatibility of these APIs if a bug or
     security hole makes it completely unavoidable.

Stable APIs
===========

These APIs are stable:

   - `Caching`_.
   
   - `Custom template tags and libraries`_ (with the possible exception for a
     small change in the way templates are registered and loaded).
     
   - `Database lookup`_ (with the exception of validation; see below).
   
   - `django-admin utility`_.
   
   - `FastCGI integration`_.
   
   - `Flatpages`_.
   
   - `Generic views`_.
   
   - `Internationalization`_.
   
   - `Legacy database integration`_.
   
   - `Model definition`_ (with the exception of generic relations; see below).
   
   - `mod_python integration`_.
   
   - `Redirects`_.
   
   - `Request/response objects`_.
   
   - `Sending email`_.
   
   - `Sessions`_.
   
   - `Settings`_.
   
   - `Syndication`_.
   
   - `Template language`_ (with the exception of some possible disambiguation
     of how tag arguments are passed to tags and filters).
   
   - `Transactions`_.
   
   - `URL dispatch`_.   
   
You'll notice that this list comprises the bulk of Django's APIs. That's right
-- most of the changes planned between now and Django 1.0 are either under the
hood, feature additions, or changes to a few select bits. A good estimate is
that 90% of Django can be considered forwards-compatible at this point.

That said, these APIs should *not* be considered stable, and are likely to
change:

   - `Forms and validation`_ will most likely be compeltely rewritten to
     deemphasize Manipulators in favor of validation-aware models.

   - `Serialization`_ is under heavy development; changes are likely.

   - The `authentication`_ framework is changing to be far more flexible, and
     API changes may be necessary.

   - Generic relations will most likely be moved out of core and into the
     content-types contrib package to avoid core dependacies on optional
     components.

   - The comments framework, which is yet undocumented, will likely get a complete
     rewrite before Django 1.0. Even if the change isn't quite that drastic,
     there will at least be moderate changes.
     
.. _caching: http://www.djangoproject.com/documentation/cache/
.. _custom template tags and libraries: http://www.djangoproject.com/documentation/templates_python/
.. _database lookup: http://www.djangoproject.com/documentation/db_api/
.. _django-admin utility: http://www.djangoproject.com/documentation/django_admin/
.. _fastcgi integration: http://www.djangoproject.com/documentation/fastcgi/
.. _flatpages: http://www.djangoproject.com/documentation/flatpages/
.. _generic views: http://www.djangoproject.com/documentation/generic_views/
.. _internationalization: http://www.djangoproject.com/documentation/i18n/
.. _legacy database integration: http://www.djangoproject.com/documentation/legacy_databases/
.. _model definition: http://www.djangoproject.com/documentation/model_api/
.. _mod_python integration: http://www.djangoproject.com/documentation/modpython/
.. _redirects: http://www.djangoproject.com/documentation/redirects/
.. _request/response objects: http://www.djangoproject.com/documentation/request_response/
.. _sending email: http://www.djangoproject.com/documentation/email/
.. _sessions: http://www.djangoproject.com/documentation/sessions/
.. _settings: http://www.djangoproject.com/documentation/settings/
.. _syndication: http://www.djangoproject.com/documentation/syndication/
.. _template language: http://www.djangoproject.com/documentation/templates/
.. _transactions: http://www.djangoproject.com/documentation/transactions/
.. _url dispatch: http://www.djangoproject.com/documentation/url_dispatch/
.. _forms and validation: http://www.djangoproject.com/documentation/forms/
.. _serialization: http://www.djangoproject.com/documentation/serialization/
.. _authentication: http://www.djangoproject.com/documentation/authentication/
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