On 31 July 2012 07:54, Intransition <transfire / gmail.com> wrote:
> Any recommendations on the management of API versions. I have a case in
> which it is important that my library support all versions.
>
> For example, currently I am basically doing:
>
>   module MyLib
>     module V0
>       module Main
>         ...
>       end
>     end
>
>     class Main
>       def initialize(version)
>         extend MyLib.const_get("V#{version}")::Main
>       end
>     end
>   end
>
> Does that seem like a good approach. Or is it overkill? Is there a better
> way to handle this?
>
> Thanks.

For what it's worth, I kind of like this solution, but I get the
feeling there's something not quite right about it.  An alternative
could be to strategically name source files, and `require` the
appropriate one; in that case each version-specific file could
redefine the relevant part of Main.  E.g.

  # File: main.rb
  class Main
    def initialize version
      require "./main-v#{version}.rb"
    end
    # universal code
  end

  # File main-v0.rb
  class Main
    # version-specific code
  end

It splits things up into maintainable files quite nicely, and also has
less parsing (for what that's worth.)  However it wouldn't work if you
need two different versions of Main in the one program.

Alternatively you could create a factory, which is essentially what
you've done, but might be a bit more recognisable to, or better
understood by, maintainers.  E.g.

  class Main
    # ... universal code
  end
  class MainV0 < Main
     # ... version-specific code
  end
  module MainFactory
    def self.create version
      const_get("MainV#{version}").new
    end
  end

It's mostly a fluff change to what you've already got, but it means
each object has the version-specific API as their class rather than a
mixed-in module (i.e. no real difference as far as I'm aware), and
it's clear that the MainFactory is a factory and that each of the
MainVx classes are what it instantiates, whereas a partially
implemented Main class with some strange magic in its #initialize
method might be a bit less clear.

That all said good documentation will almost always trump recognisable
patterns or otherwise self-documenting code.

I'd be interested to see other peoples' comments.

-- 
  Matthew Kerwin, B.Sc (CompSci) (Hons)
  http://matthew.kerwin.net.au/
  ABN: 59-013-727-651

  "You'll never find a programming language that frees
  you from the burden of clarifying your ideas." - xkcd