Rationale for completely dropping 0.18 documentation?

Hello everyone!

This topic is somewhat related to the Updating packages one that has closed after ten days of inactivity:

We are working on an application that uses Elm, but we are unable to use 0.19 yet, mostly because the currently missing WebSocket support.

And this is fine; we’ll continuing working with 0.18. However, what bugs us (and, looking at the last post in the ‘Updating Packages’ topic, we’re not the only ones), is that once 0.19 was deemed ‘releasable’, that support for 0.18 has been completely dropped from the https://package.elm-lang.org/ Packages/Documentation service, which makes it tremendously difficult to look up proper documentation or find packages that we’re able to use in 0.18.

So I’d like to ask the community: Why? What is the reason for stopping to support the package- and documentation information for 0.18, especially because there still is a large group of people that are, for the time being, not able to move their applications to 0.19?

Is there a reasoning behind this that I am not seeing? If not, I’d be willing to spend the time and add a Pull Request to re-add 0.18 documentation on the package.elm-lang.org site (with big warnings at the top that not using the newest version of Elm is a bad idea unless you know what you’re doing, or something).


I’ve no idea, why they were dropped. But in case you didn’t stumble across this, there are their party search sites for 0.18.



The docs are all available on the website, but the search has limitations due to how the new server is set up. Basically, it is not trivial to make packages that have not been published in 0.19 show up in search results due to architectural choices to reduce the amount of data sent on the search page. It now only sends packages that have had a publish with 0.19, but with the subsequent elm-lang to elm name change, this ended up being much more disruptive than it appeared at the time.

When I heard people having this issue, I added a note to try to help folks find elm-lang packages when no results turn up. Have you run into that message? It points here. Perhaps it is not visible enough? Perhaps the message can point to the site that dmy set up instead? (Thank you to dmy by the way!) Perhaps there can be a link to that in the sidebar?

For context, a bunch of core people speaking and organizing elm-conf. This sort of event is very important, but it can make it difficult to juggle all the other competing concerns. There is no dark conspiracy here. It is just hard to get everything right in a release, and sharing perspectives like this can reveal difficulties that are not immediately obvious to people in other positions.


:heart: I did not think there was any dark conspiracy. I thought that either I was missing something, or that this problem was not known by the people who would be able to change something about it.
It is just hard to get everything right in a release, and sharing perspectives like this can reveal difficulties that are not immediately obvious to people in other positions.

I completely understand the importance of Elm Conf, and that there are an insane amount of things to keep track of when doing a project that has a scope as large as Elm has. Thank you for all your hard work!

@andys8 That is a great resource! @evancz If it would be possible to point from the note (and I agree that it would be even better to link to it from the sidebar in a similar way as the link to klafertief is set up right now), that would completely solve our concerns!


I made the note point to the alternate search page. I also changed the explanation to give context about why it is set up this particular way. Thanks for sharing your perspective!


Thank you for your quick and clear response! :heart_eyes:

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