Policy for deprecating GROMACS functionality#
Occasionally functionality ceases being useful, is unable to be fixed or maintained, or its user interface needs to be improved. The development team does this sparingly. Broken functionality might be removed without notice if nobody willing to fix it can be found. Working functionality will be changed only after announcing in the previous major release the intent to remove and/or change the form of such functionality. Thus there is typically a year for users and external tool providers to prepare for such changes, and contact the GROMACS developers to see how they might be affected and how best to adapt.
There is a current list of anticipated changes and deprecated functionality in the “Major release” notes.
When environment variables are deprecated, it is up to the user to make sure that their scripts are updated accordingly for the new release. In cases where it is sensible, the development team should do the effort to keep the old environment variables working for one extra release cycle, before fully removing them. The user should be informed about this future deprecation with a warning. If keeping the old environment variable is not possible or highly problematic, setting the removed environment variable should be triggering a warning during one release cycle.