Skip to content

Deprecated

Russ Cox edited this page Nov 22, 2022 · 9 revisions
Clone this wiki locally

Sometimes an API feature such as a struct field, function, type, or even a whole package becomes redundant or unnecessary. When we want to discourage new programs from using it, we mark that feature "deprecated".

In contrast to some other systems, an API feature being deprecated does not mean it is going to be removed in the future. On the contrary, Go 1 compatibility means the feature will be preserved in its deprecated form to keep existing programs running.

To signal that an identifier should not be used, add a paragraph to its doc comment that begins with Deprecated: followed by some information about the deprecation, and a recommendation on what to use instead, if applicable. The paragraph does not have to be the last paragraph in the doc comment.

Some tools will warn on use of deprecated identifiers and their docs are hidden on pkg.go.dev.

If function F1 is being replaced by function F2 and the first release in which F2 is available is Go 1.N, then an official deprecation notice for F1 should not be added until Go 1.N+2. This ensures that Go developers only see F1 as deprecated when all supported Go versions include F2 and they can easily switch.

Marking an API feature deprecated can create work and decisions for millions of Go developers using the feature. An API feature should only be marked deprecated if its use is problematic in some way, not simply because something newer exists. Deprecating an API feature is an API change that must be discussed using the proposal process.

Examples

type ResponseRecorder struct {
	// HeaderMap contains the headers explicitly set by the Handler.
	// It is an internal detail.
	//
	// Deprecated: HeaderMap exists for historical compatibility
	// and should not be used. To access the headers returned by a handler,
	// use the Response.Header map as returned by the Result method.
	HeaderMap http.Header
// Package rc4 implements the RC4 stream cipher.
//
// Deprecated: RC4 is cryptographically broken and should not be used
// except for compatibility with legacy systems.
//
// This package is frozen and no new functionality will be added.
package rc4

There are a few other examples in the standard library.