I really appreciate all the recent improvements to Anki, but I also have to be honest in saying that they’ve been quite a major headache in terms of add-on compatibility. 2.1.41 in particular was the Anki version with the most add-on breakages I’ve seen since the switch from 2.0 to 2.1. Looking at some of the upcoming changes and PRs, I fear that this trend is going to continue.
I understand that progress is inevitable and that APIs that were never really meant to be (add-on) APIs are going to continue to break. However, putting myself in the shoes of a user, I think I would be very confused on add-on compatibility and which Anki version to install. Basically, a +1 in patch number can sometimes mean no changes visible to me whatsoever, or my entire add-on workflow breaking.
Personally, what I usually try to tell users who depend on add-ons, is to follow along with the update notifications they receive within Anki. If they see an update notification, it usually means that it’s ok to upgrade. If not, just wait for a bit and see.
Still, every day sees tech-y users manually upgrading to the latest release, and – more importantly – completely new users filtering in who simply click on the friendly download button and expect everything to work as they might have seen at their friends’, or in a YouTube tutorial.
To just ever so slightly alleviate that issue, how do you feel about updating the messaging on the download page to add a quick note that the previous stable release might be compatible with more add-ons?
Basically, my suggestion would be to change the messaging from e.g.:
2.1.42 was just released: <DOWNLOAD> 2.1.40 was a previous stable release: <download>
2.1.42 was just released: <DOWNLOAD> 2.1.40 was a previous stable release. It might be compatible with more add-ons: <download>
IMHO, a fairly small change that might at least prevent some headaches.
Either way, thanks for giving this a thought.