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Deprecation is a status applied to a computer software feature, characteristic, or practice indicating it should be avoided, typically because it is being superseded. The term is also sometimes used for a feature, design, or practice that is permitted but no longer recommended in other areas, such as hardware design or compliance to building codes.

While a deprecated software feature remains in the software its use may raise warning messages recommending alternative practices; deprecated status may also indicate that feature will be removed in the future. Features are deprecated rather than immediately removed to provide backward compatibility and give programmers time to bring affected code into compliance with the new standard.


In mainstream English, the infinitive "to deprecate" means, simply, "to strongly disapprove of (something)". It derives from the Latin verb deprecare, meaning "to ward off (a disaster) by prayer". Thus, for a standard document to state that a feature is deprecated is merely a recommendation against using it. It is still possible to produce a program or product without heeding the deprecation; but to the extent that conformance with latest standards is a requirement of the buyer (that is, a condition of payment), it may not be acceptable in that it may fail to conform.

Reasons for deprecation[edit]

Among the most common reasons for deprecation are:

Other usage[edit]

The term deprecated may also be used when a non-computer term becomes obsolete, either through change or supersession.

An example in paleontology would be Brontosaurus, the former popular name for the genus Apatosaurus.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ GNU. "Line Input". The GNU C Library. GNU. Retrieved 2008-08-02. "Deprecated function: char * gets (char *s). ... The gets function is very dangerous because it provides no protection against overflowing the string s. The GNU library includes it for compatibility only. You should always use fgets or getline instead." 
  2. ^ "Java Thread Primitive Deprecation". Oracle. Retrieved 13 May 2011. 
  3. ^ Upchurch, Paul; Barrett, Paul M., and Dodson, Peter. (2004). "Sauropoda". In Weishampel, David B.; Dodson, Peter; and Osmólska, Halszka. (eds.). The Dinosauria (2nd ed.). Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. 259–322. ISBN 0-520-24209-2. 

External links[edit]