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I will be adding a feature to the software and have to update or modify some of public API of the present open source software.

What are steps which could be taken to ensure the compatibility of the software. what are the testing methods which are used in open source world to test the newly added features?? Open Source program is: Xapian

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If there are existing tests (e.g. unit tests, integration tests) for this open source software, use them to verify you have not broken anything (i.e. no regressions). As well, add new tests that will test your new feature.

If there are no existing tests, consider adding some for your new feature as well as slowly adding some for the existing features. This will help to make the open source software better in general, even if no new features are added.

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