Deprecation Procedure

From time to time, features of zcashd and its associated wallet and RPC API are deprecated to allow eventual removal of functionality that has been superseded by more recent improvements. Deprecation follows a process whereby deprecate features can be explicitly turned on or off using the -allowdeprecated=<feature> CLI argument.

zcashd internally supports two sets of deprecated feature flags in src/deprecation.h:

  • DEFAULT_ALLOW_DEPRECATED contains the set of features that remain available for use without having to be specifically enabled using -allowdeprecated.
  • DEFAULT_DENY_DEPRECATED contains the set of features that are not enabled by default, and must be explicitly enabled using -allowdeprecated.

Deprecation of a feature occurs as a 3-step process:

  1. A deprecation flag is selected for the feature, and added to DEFAULT_ALLOW_DEPRECATED. The fact of its deprecation is announced, and any functionality that supersedes the deprecated feature (if any) is documented, in the release notes. The string DEPRECATED is added to user-facing API documentation and CLI help text.
  2. The deprecation flag is removed from DEFAULT_ALLOW_DEPRECATED and added to DEFAULT_DENY_DEPRECATED.
  3. The deprecated feature is removed entirely, and its deprecation flag is removed.

Features that enter Stage 1 in a particular release should be disabled by default after no fewer than 3 releases that update zcashd's minor-version, and features should only be fully removed after a total of 6 minor-version updates. zcashd's release schedule intends to produce a release that updates the minor version every 6 weeks, so deprecated features remain accessible by default for approximately 18 weeks, and then can be expected to be removed no less than 36 weeks from their initial deprecation. The deprecation timeline for each newly deprecated feature should be documented in ../user/