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[DISCUSS] Flink backward compatibility


Hi,

I wanted to bring back the topic of backward compatibility with respect to
all/most of the user facing aspects of Flink. Please note that isn't
limited to the programming API, but also includes job submission and
management.

As can be seen in [1], changes in these areas cause difficulties
downstream. Projects have to choose between Flink versions and users are
ultimately at disadvantage, either by not being able to use the desired
dependency or facing forced upgrades to their infrastructure.

IMO the preferred solution would be that downstream projects can build
against a minimum version of Flink and expect compatibility with future
releases of the major version stream. For example, my project depends on
1.6.x and can expect to run without recompilation on 1.7.x and later.

How far away is Flink from stabilizing the surface that affects typical
users?

Thanks,
Thomas

[1] https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/BEAM-5419