This document lays out the feature and API set for the next feature release of the Graphical Editing Framework (GEF) project, designated release 3.6.0.
The release deliverables are:
GEF builds are available weekly as Integration builds. GEF Milestone Releases are approximately one week after the Eclipse Milestone Releases. It is anticipated that GEF will synchronize its release milestones with the Helios release schedule .
GEF 3.6 will support all operating environments supported by the Eclipse Platform itself. For a list of supported environments, refer to the Target Environments list in the Eclipse Project 3.6 plan
GEF 3.6 will be upwards compatible with GEF 3.5 to the greatest extent possible. Any exceptions will be noted in the 3.6 release notes so that clients can assess the impact of these changes on their plug-ins and products.
API Contract Compatibility: GEF 3.6 will be upwards contract-compatible with GEF 3.5 unless noted. This means that programs in full compliance with contracts specified in 3.5 APIs will automatically be in full compliance with 3.6 APIs. Refer to Evolving Java-based APIs for a discussion of the kinds of API changes that maintain contract compatibility.
Binary (plug-in) Compatibility: GEF 3.6 will be upwards binary-compatible with GEF 3.5 unless noted. This means that plug-ins built for GEF 3.5 will continue to work correctly in 3.6 without change. Plug-ins with hard-coded references in their plug-in manifest file to the 3.5 version of GEF plug-ins will work in 3.6 provided the version match rule is "greaterOrEqual" or "compatible" (the default); references using "perfect" or "equivalent" match rules will be broken. Refer to Evolving Java-based APIs for a discussion of the kinds of API changes that maintain binary compatibility.
Source Compatibility: GEF 3.6 will be upwards source-compatible with GEF 3.5 to the greatest extent possible. This means that source files written to use 3.5 APIs can often be successfully compiled and run against GEF 3.6 APIs. Since source incompatibilities are easy to deal with, maintaining source compatibility is considered much less important than maintaining contract and binary compatibility. The addition of a single method anywhere could be an incompatible source change. For this reason, source-incompatibilities will not be noted.
Non-compliant usage of API's : All non-API methods and classes, and certainly everything in a package with "internal" in its name, are considered implementation details which may vary between operating environment and are subject to change without notice. Client plug-ins that directly depend on anything other than what is specified as API are inherently unsupportable and receive no guarantees about compatibility within a single release much less with an earlier releases. Refer to How to Use the Eclipse API for information about how to write compliant plug-ins.
Ramp Down Policy
The GEF project uses the Modeling Project Ramp Down Policy/Helios following EMF as a 1+ component.
The project has identified major areas of work, that will be the priorities for this development cycle.
This work will make it easier to make effective use of the GEF components. We seek to deliver enhancements and defect fixes that are important for our consumers. A list of those plan items related to Consumability can be found by searching Bugzilla for flag=Helios.
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