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API Tools
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API tooling will assist developers in API maintenance by reporting API defects such as binary incompatibilities, incorrect plug-in version numbers, missing or incorrect @since tags, and usage of non-API code between plug-ins. The tooling will be integrated in the Eclipse SDK and will be used in the automated build process. Specifically, the tooling is designed to do the following:

  • Identify binary compatibility issues between two versions of a software component or product.
  • Update version numbers for plug-ins (bundles) based on the Eclipse versioning scheme.
  • Update @since tags for newly added classes, interfaces, methods, etc.
  • Provide new Javadoc tags and code assist to annotate types with special restrictions.
  • Leverage existing information (in MANIFEST.MF) to define the visibility of packages between bundles.
  • Identify usage of non-API code between plug-ins.
  • Identity leakage of non-API types into API.
  • Identify usage of code from a JRE outside the bounds of the one specified in the bundle configuration (MANIFEST.MF).

Present state

API tooling was released to the Eclipse SDK in the PDE project during the Eclipse 3.4 release. Our milestone development time line corresponds to that of the Eclipse SDK (currently in the 3.6 stream).


All planned items (and wishes) can be found on our 3.6 plan page.


Ant Tasks - Description of the Ant Tasks available in API Tools

API Restrictions - Description of the restrictions supported on API types via Javadoc tags or annotations.

API Tooling Architecture - High level description of the tooling's architecture.

Evolving Java-based APIs - What is considered an API in Eclipse.

Version Numbering - Guidelines on versioning plug-ins

PDE/Incubator - New projects that might be incorporated into PDE in future.

PDE UI Home Page - The main PDE UI web site.

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