I’m just spitballing here, and I’m not an expert on matters of ABI, however the thought occurs to me that the current all-or-nothing approach might lead to suboptimal results.
In particular, some recent discussions on this list have mentioned that certain parts of the standard library, such as Mirror, really ought to be redesigned. But their current shape is on track to be baked into the permanent ABI, even though we know right now that we can do better. Has any consideration been given to the possibility of carving out specific exemptions to ABI stability for Swift 5, and saying something like, “The entire ABI will be stabilized, except for Mirror (and possibly a small number of other things)”? That way we can nail down almost all of the ABI, while still being able to fix the parts that we can already see need fixing. Perhaps I am being naive here, and I’m sure there are major aspects I am unaware of, but from my layperson’s perspective it seems rather silly to tie ourselves to a legacy implementation that we want to redesign. Nevin
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