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When is the time that ROS will support backward compatibility?

asked 2012-08-15 17:05:54 -0600

sam gravatar image

It is very upset that new version of ROS have many packages run the same package but in different way or rosmake failed or something missing.

Most of them are 3rd party projects, but I can't build my own package without them.

For example: 3d_navigation, pcd_viewer...etc

I want to know when ROS will solve all these kinds of problems.

I know it's very hard, but it is very very important.

I don't want to change them for every ROS distributions.

Thank you~

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answered 2012-08-15 22:55:37 -0600

dornhege gravatar image

I'm not sure, what exactly you mean, but I think you are aiming at the fact that some packages only run on one ROS distribution.

There are some basic ways to fix that. You can check for the ROS version in the code and thus apply the right thing. This is obviously given that a certain required feature is in that release. However, especially for third party packages it's up to the maintainer to do so, so ROS can't really do more than enable these possibilities.

Packages that are released are compatible, so we are talking about packages currently under development, which usually run on a current ROS version. The aim is to have things like the API marked as stable (you can see that in that wiki) to ensure compatibility, but a package being developed doesn't give you these guarantees. That is the price you pay for getting new things as soon as they work. If you want compatibility, you need to take a stable subset.

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We can never ensure that all packages developed anywhere in the world are actively maintained by their developers. But, we can provide better tools for users to distinguish actively maintained packages from less mature code.

joq gravatar image joq  ( 2012-08-16 04:48:48 -0600 )edit

I remember a discussion on ros-users about adding such information, at a minimum compatible ros distros, to the wiki. I'm not sure what the result of that was, though.

dornhege gravatar image dornhege  ( 2012-08-16 04:58:56 -0600 )edit

I don't know of any, yet. But, there are active discussions about improvement for Groovy. Most of the needed information is available (review status, bug reporting link, etc.). It's just not conveniently displayed.

joq gravatar image joq  ( 2012-08-16 05:02:48 -0600 )edit

Is there any the list of stable(means compatible) packages or stacks? Thank you~

sam gravatar image sam  ( 2012-08-17 01:44:20 -0600 )edit

Not officially, that is what @joq was suggesting to have.

dornhege gravatar image dornhege  ( 2012-08-17 02:35:57 -0600 )edit

So you(ROS team) will gather that list in the future? Thank you~

sam gravatar image sam  ( 2012-08-17 02:38:13 -0600 )edit

Right. One useful list of released packages (in this case for Fuerte) is here:

joq gravatar image joq  ( 2012-08-17 03:59:16 -0600 )edit

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Asked: 2012-08-15 17:05:54 -0600

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Last updated: Aug 15 '12