undefined local variable or method `start_form_tag'

Good answers, thank you. i really do want & need to use the newer
versions and features & I DO love change, I don't think using old
versions are the answer and my boss doesn't understand 'bloated
frameworks'. I told him, well, it's not DRY and can mean duplicate code
and encourage people not to change to the new, etc, etc. but he said 'so
what?, point one thing to the other or something [which actually is
shown in the thread as a temp solution, very helpful!], just don't break
it'. The new way is much better, I agree 100%, though I still disagree
with it as a reason to allow the old way to become invalid in the
fashion that it did.
But I also think it's more philosophical in nature and there will always
be differences, not rights & wrongs (though not implied by you or
anyone). I certainly respect your opinion and experience and will take
them into account going forward. btw my live app actually is on a
hosted service and it does get tricky using lower versions with them,
wish I was in a big org and didn't need to worry!
For me the main item is - If all the 'old' books and posts could be
immediately destroyed this would be awesome and would certainly address
a great many of the issues, but they can't and folks are gonna keep
searching and spending ages chasing ghosts. I feel for my fellow
developers who seek answers. I think the philosophical difference is
also best exemplified by XHTML and WC3 and the browser wars for how
standards compliance can pan out, e.g. if <br>'s (not <br />'s) were
really enforced and pages broke. Similarly old browser versions were
not the answer there. Though I sure miss my Netscape! They voted, but
the vote was 11-8 againt the strict. So the '8' were not convinced and
probably never would be. Then again, the 11 probably wouldn't be either!
But that's ok, good for them, 'cos diversity is good!
At the very least I could easily live with the tag being removed I just
wish the error msg was left for longer. Would it really be that bad to
have it still? Again, I am referencing the error message. Because of
the blogs/books issue y'know. Just to help people more and save them
from themselves. Same principle though for many other (tags, controller
names, etc.).
I welcome further discussion. I would just ask you to bear in mind that
change is not all or nothing ("If you can't deal with those changes,
don't." wasn't very helpful) but there can be differences of opinion on
exactly how the changes are implemented.
Best, Michael.

Also (specifically):

Marnen Laibow-Koser wrote:

A deprecation says "the next time you upgrade, this feature might be
gone, so get rid of it now". If you can't handle that, then don't
upgrade.

I didn't upgrade, just sought an answer.

What would the extra two years do, other than bloating the framework and
encouraging people not to take deprecation warnings seriously?

New to rail this in 2009, so never used 1.2 and never saw deprecation
warnings.
2 extra years would give people time, let new books come out, let old
books age out, let new forum posts become the standard, let old posts
get deleted, etc. Basically i think 3 years would be much nicer to
people. I don't have any fixed idea on what time period is 'right', I
just don't get why "1 year" is deemed 'right'. If shorter is better,
how about 3 months? I think it all comes down to peoples opinion of
what time is 'reasonable'. In the end there is always gonna be a
distribution curve of time opinions there, from 'none' to 'forever',
right?

Also
why not better error messages generally?

That's a separate issue.

I think it's the biggest one.

I and many others need something that is around for longer than a year.

Then you are welcome to stick with an old version of Rails. No one is
forcing you to upgrade.

old versions missing much functionality - business reasons, hosting,
functionality and love of change certainly do pretty much force upgrades
- plus I can't simultaneously use multiple versions or my brain explodes
:wink:

The nature of upgrades is to introduce changes. If you can't deal with
those changes, don't.

i can, but i can disagree with how they are introduced based on
experience right? that's ok right?

Applications, books, references, etc. should not all just become
'invalid' after 1 year and no longer have helpful warnings.

Applications do not become invalid after 1 year, and I'm sure you know
this. There are still Rails 1.x apps out there that I'm sure are
working fine.

I do know that. But I can't keep developing in old and multiple versions
and know what worx in what and stay sane :slight_smile: Because I do love change and
need the newer versions I... need the newer versions.

and I'm at a
loss to understand why to remove something helpful?

Because a better, more Rubyish way was found to do the same thing.

Sure and that's great. I'm really more concerned about the error
messages removal, not the tag removal.

Changing new docs, the api, etc that's all great and I totally support
it, it's the rails/open way after all to constantly improve, but break
an old thing within a year or 2, I don't get it.

"Backward compatibility means never being able to say 'oops, we
goofed'."

or... "Backward compatibility can mean saying 'oops, we goofed', here's
a new and better way to do it, but don't worry, your existing code base
and reference material will still be ok under the new version."

But again philosophy and see wc3 & browser standards above.

When a tag is really removed, if the 'remover' could remove all the main
threads in Rails Forums, etc., much as that might take a big effort, now
that would really stand out as a big help.