On Thu, Jul 30, 2015 at 6:38 PM, Dan Garry <dga...@wikimedia.org> wrote:

> There are a multitude of API consumers out there that would expect this
> kind of behaviour by default. For example, reader apps like our native
> apps, and other third party apps, would likely prefer the forwarding to
> happen automatically without having to write additional code.
> That said, there are also a multitude of API consumers that would not
> prefer this kind of behaviour. Examples of this include people that are
> looking for things and expecting to find zero results, which includes a lot
> of scripts run by advanced users and external services like Lagotto
> <http://sample.lagotto.io/sources/wikipedia>. If the default were
> changed, they would have to write additional code to handle it.

Note the "additional code" in either case is simply adding an extra
parameter to the query to enable or disable automatic rewriting.

The difference is that the current behavior is "don't rewrite": if you make
the default be "rewrite" then you're breaking all the existing clients in
the second paragraph, while if you make the default be "don't rewrite" then
all clients keep working as they did previously (which isn't optimal for
the clients in the first paragraph, but they're not *broken* and they might
already be using the returned 'suggestion' field to do rewriting manually).

Brad Jorsch (Anomie)
Senior Software Engineer
Wikimedia Foundation
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