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backward combatability

backward combatability: /bak'w*rd k*m-bat'*-bil'*-tee/ [from
   `backward compatibility'] n.  A property of hardware or software
   revisions in which previous protocols, formats, layouts, etc. are
   irrevocably discarded in favor of `new and improved' protocols,
   formats, and layouts, leaving the previous ones not merely
   deprecated but actively defeated.  (Too often, the old and new
   versions cannot definitively be distinguished, such that lingering
   instances of the previous ones yield crashes or other infelicitous
   effects, as opposed to a simple "version mismatch" message.)  A
   backwards compatible change, on the other hand, allows old versions
   to coexist without crashes or error messages, but too many major
   changes incorporating elaborate backwards compatibility processing
   can lead to extreme software bloat.  See also flag