Google Updates Its Deprecation Policy

Developer & Design

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Software gets old. It's an unfortunate truth that many developers have to live with. It's even harder when you have to deal with software that may be deprecating and it's hard to know when official support is going to dry up.

Google is hoping to make all of this easier by changing up their software deprecation policies. These include the changing some APIs to a one-year deprecation policy while just retiring some APIs outright. So let's get into the nitty gritty of it to see which APIs are being affected.

First up is the change to a one-year deprecation policy. They are not deprecation the APIs themselves, just the policy. The four APIs that are affected by this new policy are the Google App Engine, Cloud Storage, Maps/Earth API and the YouTube API. The App Engine, Maps and YouTube API will wind down from their three-year API deprecation period in April 2014 and transition to the new policy. Cloud Storage is keeping its current one-year policy.

For the above mentioned APIs, Google is writing a new policy that is clearer and more concise. Google says that the new policy "simply states that we will strive to provide one year notice before making breaking changes."

A metric ton of other APIs will be losing their deprecation policies. To be clear again, Google is not removing these APIs. To give developers time to get things up to snuff, the current deprecation policies for these APIs will not be removed until April 2015. The current list of APIs to lose their policies are as follows: Accounts API, AdSense Host API, Chart Tools API, Checkout API, Contacts API, Custom Search API, Documents API, Doubleclick for Publishers API, Feed API, Google Apps Admin APIs, Libraries API, Orkut API, Picasa Web Albums API, and Prediction API.

In sadder news, Google will be retiring some of their older APIs. These include the Moderator API, Legacy Portable Contacts API, ClientLogin, AuthSub, OAuth 1.0, and Google Chart Tools. They are also retiring the non-current versions of Spreadsheets, Contacts, Documents List and Freebase APIs. Last but not least, the Finance and Feedburner Administrative APIs will finally be retired after being depreciated last year.

While some developers may cry fowl at these changes, Google assures you that they're only doing this to make it easier for people to stay on top of the current tools available to them. This should allow everybody to be a level playing field in terms of the newest technology.

What do you think of Google's new deprecation policies? What about their massive removal of several API policies? Let us know in the comments.