Backward compatibility (sometimes backwards compatibility) is a property of a system, product, or technology that allows for interoperability with an older legacy system, or with input designed for such a system, especially in telecommunications and computing. Backward compatibility is sometimes also called downward compatibility. Modifying a system in a way that does not allow backward compatibility is sometimes called "breaking" backward compatibility. In programming jargon, the concept is sometimes referred to as hysterical reasons or hysterical raisins, homophones for "historical reasons".
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