If the behavior of the library has to be changed, a deprecation cycle must be followed to warn users.

A deprecation cycle is not necessary when:

  • adding a new function, or

  • adding a new keyword argument to the end of a function signature, or

  • fixing buggy behavior

A deprecation cycle is necessary for any breaking API change, meaning a change where the function, invoked with the same arguments, would return a different result after the change. This includes:

  • changing the order of arguments or keyword arguments, or

  • adding arguments or keyword arguments to a function, or

  • changing the name of a function, class, method, etc., or

  • moving a function, class, etc. to a different module, or

  • changing the default value of a function’s arguments.

Usually, our policy is to put in place a deprecation cycle over two minor releases (e.g., if a deprecation warning appears in 2.3, then the functionality should be removed in 2.5). For major releases we usually require that all deprecations have at least a 1-release deprecation cycle (e.g., if 3.0 occurs after 2.5, then all removed functionality in 3.0 should be deprecated in 2.5).

Note that these 1- and 2-release deprecation cycles for major and minor releases is not a strict rule and in some cases, the developers can agree on a different procedure upon justification (like when we can’t detect the change, or it involves moving or deleting an entire function for example).


Make sure to review networkx/ after removing deprecated code.

Version 3.0#

  • In readwrite/ remove literal_stringizer and related tests.

  • In readwrite/ remove literal_destringizer and related tests.

  • Remove copy method in the coreview Filtered-related classes and related tests.

  • In algorithms/link_analysis/ replace pagerank with pagerank_scipy.

  • In algorithms/link_analysis/ rename pagerank_numpy as _pagerank_numpy.

  • In remove order kwarg from to_pandas_edgelist and docstring

  • In algorithms/operators/ remove name kwarg from union and docstring.

  • In algorithms/link_analysis/, remove the np.asmatrix wrappers on the return values of google_matrix and remove the associated FutureWarning.

  • In linalg/ remove the FutureWarning, update the return type by removing np.asmatrix, and update the docstring to reflect that the function returns a numpy.ndarray instance.

  • In algorithms/ remove extrema_bounding.

  • In algorithms/, remove parameter maxcardinality from min_weight_matching.

Version 3.2#

  • In generators/ remove the create_using keyword argument for the scale_free_graph function.

  • Remove pydot functionality drawing/, if pydot is still not being maintained. See #5723

  • In readwrite/json_graph/ remove the attrs` keyword code and docstring in ``node_link_data and node_link_graph. Also the associated tests.

Version 3.3#

  • Remove the forest_str function from readwrite/ Replace existing usages with write_network_text.

  • Change single_target_shortest_path_length in algorithms/shortest_path/ to return a dict. See #6527

  • Change shortest_path in algorithms/shortest_path/ to return a iterator. See #6527