Evolving APIs and plug-in versions using PDE & More !

An API is a way for services and programs to communicate with each other through a
documented interface. It defines “contracts” for information exchange between programs. But over time,
an API needs to evolve while maintaining the contract compatibility. In some circumstance,
breaking changes has to be made and the clients of the API need to adapt effectively.

For Java applications, there are some ground rules for evolving interface, classes and all other
API elements. In eclipse, PDE tools provide most of the assistance needed for the developer to evolve
APIs without having to say "I just added this. How did that break? "

As plugins evolve, they must maintain the compatibility as far as possible. The nature of changes
to the plugin should also be reflected in the plugin versioning. PDE's version management tools
help developers to put the versioning correctly.

In the talk, I will cover ground rules for API evolution and how PDE helps a developer in that.
Also I will cover versioning guidelines and PDE's support for version management. I will also
talk about other useful aspects of PDE.

 
 

Outline/structure of the Session

The outline of the presentation will contain

- What is an API and contract compatibility in API?

-  What can cause Binary incompatibility?

- How to evolve interface, class, methods etc   in java ?

- How to do versioning for changes in API?

- Support in PDE for evolving APIs

Learning Outcome

a) Understand evolving APIs

b)  Understand API compatibility and binary compatibility and things that could break it

c) Learn to use PDE in API evolution

d) How to use versioning properly

Target Audience

Eclipse Developers

Requirements

- Organizer should give projector to present slides

- Participants should be familiar with eclipse and java. ( even beginner level of familiarity would do)

schedule Submitted 1 year ago

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comment Comment on this Proposal
  • Naresh Jain
    By Naresh Jain  ~  9 months ago
    reply Reply

    Thanks Vikas for the proposal.

    Backward compatibility of APIs is a real challenge on many Eclipse projects. From the proposal, I understand that your plan is to give a quick 20 mins overview of this topic using PDE's support for version management. I'm wondering if I read the details here: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/library/os-eclipse-api-tools/ would that give me the necessary overview? Can you turn this into a case-study of how you/your teams have used this on your projects? Any gotchas? 

    We would greatly appreciate, if you can update your proposal by adding a link to any of your past presentation video. This will really help the program committee to understand your presentation style and schedule your session accordingly.

    Thanks.

    • Vikas Chandra
      By Vikas Chandra  ~  9 months ago
      reply Reply

      I have updated the proposal with more details. Please have a look.  That should answer most of your queries.


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