This package provides a namespace for data-related generic function definitions to solve the optional dependency problem; packages wishing to share and/or extend functions can avoid depending directly on each other by moving the function definition to DataAPI.jl and each package taking a dependency on it. As such, it is paramount for DataAPI.jl to be as minimal as possible, defining only generic function stubs and very little else. PRs proposing external dependencies or involved definitions will not be accepted.
Adding New Functions
When a function is proposed to be defined in DataAPI.jl, it must include clear documentation of its purpose, convention, and API, as well as specify which package will "own" any generic fallback definitions. Functions will not be exported from DataAPI.jl, but are left to extending packages to choose whether it is exported from their package or not.
Extending DataAPI.jl Functions
Packages wishing to extend a function defined in DataAPI.jl should first take a dependency on DataAPI.jl, then define their own method, taking care to properly follow the correct API, and including their package's type in the signature. They should not attempt to "pirate" methods with types not owned by the package, or provide their own generic fallbacks, this includes defining methods for
Base types. If additional methods are desired, discussion should be had with the maintainers of the "owning" package of the generic function. It is recommended to specify version compatibility like
DataAPI = "1" in your package, so additional patch release updates to DataAPI.jl are supported. In the very unlikely event that DataAPI.jl releases a breaking release 2.0, your package will need to update any broken code and tag a new release with version compatibility like
DataAPI = "2".
DataAPI.jl Function Users
Users of functions defined in DataAPI.jl should be aware that taking a dependency on DataAPI.jl itself is not encouraged, since it exists to coordinate inter-package function sharing, and not to provide any functionality. To actually use functions defined in DataAPI.jl, please review which package "owns" the function, and take a dependency on it, to ensure the default definitions are available, with additional methods being available as non-owning packages are loaded which extend the function defined in DataAPI.jl.
As this package is developer-focused, please see the source code directly for additional information on current functions defined and their documentation.