RE: Backward compatible?

Subject: RE: Backward compatible?
From: "McClare, Scott" <smcclare -at- neptec -dot- com>
To: "'TECHWR-L'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 16 Feb 2000 14:56:37 -0500

Geoff Hart [mailto:Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA] said:

> Jane Carnall wondered about the backward compatibility of the
> sentence <<The TinWoodman4 heart is fully backward compatible with the
> latest patch for TinWoodman3.>>
> This is the wording I'm most familiar with, but although it's
> jargon, I'm mostly convinced it's unnecessary jargon. Simply saying
> 4 is compatible with Version 3" should suffice in the vast majority of
> because "backward" is redundant; if the reader can't figure out that going
> from version 4 to version 3 is backwards, they need to install the
> 1.1 upgrade.

I would have to disagree. To say that Version 4 is "backward compatible"
with Version 3 is to say that compatibility with Version 3 is a part of
Version 4's design. However, it does not imply that Version 3 is designed
to work like Version 4.

To say merely that "4 is compatible with 3," on the other hand, may be taken
to mean that each can do the other's job equally well. This isn't
necessarily the case, unless the forward-looking developers of Version 3
made their product forward compatible with future upgrades. 8-)

And, to answer Jane, I'd go with "backward compatible," specifically.

Take care,


Scott A. McClare - Technical Writer
Neptec Design Group Ltd., Kanata, Ontario, Canada
(613) 599-7603 x504
smcclare -at- neptec -dot- com

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