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Why do we have to deprecate and remove functions?

From: Andreas Weber
Subject: Why do we have to deprecate and remove functions?
Date: Fri, 15 Mar 2019 08:39:16 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:60.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/60.5.1

Dear all,

what is the reason to deprecate functions? Is it just to be as MATLAB compatible as possible or to keep the codebase as small as possible?

I ask because I have to maintain code which has to run on Octave >= 3.8.2 up to current versions which is often hard because functions were removed which have worked without problems for years.

One example for a deprecated function is "strmatch". Currently I use it this way:

strmatch ("foo", {"abcd", "foobar", "foox"})
ans =

   2   3

After 5.1.0 I think I have to use:

find (strncmp ("foo", {"abcd", "foobar", "foox"}, numel("foo")))
ans =

   2   3

-- Andy

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