bugGNU Octave - Bugs: bug #55265, doc: user manual "Obsolete...


bug #55265: doc: user manual "Obsolete Functions" are doubly obsolete now

Submitted by:  Mike Miller <mtmiller>
Submitted on:  Fri 21 Dec 2018 11:11:53 PM UTC  
Category:  Documentation Severity:  2 - Minor
Priority:  5 - Normal Item Group:  Documentation
Status:  Fixed Assigned to:  None
Originator Name:  Open/Closed:  Closed
Release:  5.0.1 Operating System:  Any

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Sun 27 Jan 2019 07:36:35 PM UTC, comment #9: 

I pushed the second alternative on the stable branch


Mike Miller <mtmiller>
Project Administrator
Thu 24 Jan 2019 07:17:29 AM UTC, comment #8: 

Here's an alternative update to the table that preserves all the older entries instead of discarding them. The user is now pointed to the statistics package for the replacements.

(file #46087)

Mike Miller <mtmiller>
Project Administrator
Thu 24 Jan 2019 04:53:44 AM UTC, comment #7: 

Well for some entries we already have a "None" in the replacement column.

If you think it's helpful to keep the entire history of the table indefinitely, I can work up another change along those lines.

Mike Miller <mtmiller>
Project Administrator
Thu 24 Jan 2019 04:27:35 AM UTC, comment #6: 

Would it be useful to have the list of functions that were removed, along with the last version that included them?  A list like that could be helpful to people trying to run old code, especially if it included possible replacements for the deleted functions.

I do understand the problem with functions that have no replacement.  I'm not sure what to do about those.

John W. Eaton <jwe>
Project Administrator
Thu 24 Jan 2019 02:52:25 AM UTC, comment #5: 

Attaching a patch against the manual, anyone care to review or weigh in?

(file #46085)

Mike Miller <mtmiller>
Project Administrator
Thu 24 Jan 2019 02:06:33 AM UTC, comment #4: 

I have gone through all functions listed in the table.

Almost all of the replacement functions listed that are no longer in Octave are now part of the statistics package. These can be documented as such easily without deleting any old entries.

There are two ancient entries from Octave 3.4.0 whose replacements have also been removed from Octave years ago:

  • 'is_list' says it was replaced by 'islist', both functions were completely removed in Octave 3.4.0
  • 'is_stream' says it was replaced by 'isstream', but 'isstream' was completely deleted in Octave 3.0.0 even while the 'is_stream' deprecation wrapper was kept until Octave 3.4.0

These entries aren't very helpful to current Octave users.

I think it's not worth keeping any entries in this table older than 3.8.0 for the upcoming Octave 5 release. But at the same time this table hasn't been updated for more recent releases.

Mike Miller <mtmiller>
Project Administrator
Sat 22 Dec 2018 08:06:57 PM UTC, comment #3: 

So we should drop all entries in the table older than 4.0.0?

When I have time I'll go through the newer entries more carefully and see if any of them are affected.

Mike Miller <mtmiller>
Project Administrator
Sat 22 Dec 2018 03:48:41 PM UTC, comment #2: 

I think it is probably useful to keep an Obsolete Functions table for several releases, and then drop it.

It seems that many users, possibly due to the release cycles of the distributions, are more than one version of Octave back.  When they upgrade, and functions stop working, the natural place to look is in the documentation which is the Octave manual.

Savvy users might think to look for release notes, but that wouldn't help them if they upgraded from more than one version back.  The NEWS files get renamed at each major release.  So if I was using version 4.2.1, and upgraded to version 5.0, I can't check the NEWS file to find functions that were deprecated in 4.4.

Rik <rik5>
Project Administrator
Sat 22 Dec 2018 11:53:24 AM UTC, comment #1: 

The last entries are for the 4.0.0 release.  I think we should just strip the entire Appendix C.  It seems to be unmaintained and we communicated such changes via the release notes.

Kai Torben Ohlhus <siko1056>
Project Member
Fri 21 Dec 2018 11:11:53 PM UTC, original submission:  

Many of the functions listed in Appendix C "Obsolete Functions" were part of the migration from Octave to the Octave Forge statistics package. For example, the various distribution functions were renamed in Octave 3.4, but now they are gone from Octave and part of the statistics package.

Should the table be updated to mention that the functions are now part of the Forge package? Should the table be pruned periodically after several releases?


Mike Miller <mtmiller>
Project Administrator


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Attach Files:

Attached Files
file #46087:  bug55265-v2.patch added by mtmiller (14KiB - text/x-patch)
file #46085:  bug55265.patch added by mtmiller (10KiB - text/x-patch)


Depends on the following items: None found

Items that depend on this one: None found


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    Follow 8 latest changes.

    Date Changed by Updated Field Previous Value => Replaced by
    2019-01-27 mtmiller StatusPatch Submitted => Fixed
        Open/ClosedOpen => Closed
    2019-01-24 mtmiller Release5.0.0 => 5.0.1
    2019-01-24 mtmiller Attached File- => Added bug55265-v2.patch, #46087
    2019-01-24 mtmiller Attached File- => Added bug55265.patch, #46085
        StatusNeed Info => Patch Submitted
    2018-12-22 siko1056 StatusNone => Need Info
    2018-12-21 mtmiller Carbon-CopyRemoved 80942 => -

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