HDF4 change procedure

Breaking Changes
While maintaining HDF4, we strive to preserve compatibility in the file format, API, and build system. Sometimes, however, we have to break these things in order to keep the library functional as languages, compilers, and platforms evolve. We will try to keep these breaking changes to a minimum and will seek feedback from the community before we implement a breaking change.


When we anticipate a breaking change might be needed:

  • We will create a discussion entry in the HDF4 GitHub repository (HDFGroup/hdf4 · Discussions · GitHub)
  • We will add a pinned post to the HDF4 channel on The HDF Forum announcing the change
  • Proposed changes in GitHub will have the title start with [PROPOSAL] and the category will be “Proposed Change”
  • Changes that we’ve decided to implement will have a GitHub discussion entry where the title starts with [BREAKING CHANGE] and the category will be “Breaking Change”
  • We will try to allow at least 30 days for discussions
  • When possible, we will try to reach out to any communities we think might be affected

We would prefer for people to discuss HDF4 changes on GitHub, but we will monitor any Forum discussions as well.

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