Project Plan For JDT - Java development tools, version Helios

Introduction

Last revised 10:00 ET May 7, 2010 ((new) marks interesting changes since the previous draft of March 5, 2010.)

Please send comments about this plan to the eclipse-dev@eclipse.org developer mailing list.

This document lays out the feature and API set for the next feature release of the Eclipse SDK after 3.5, designated release 3.6 and code-named Helios.

Plans do not materialize out of nowhere, nor are they entirely static. To ensure the planning process is transparent and open to the entire Eclipse community, we (the Eclipse Project PMC) post plans in an embryonic form and revise them throughout the release cycle.

The first part of the plan deals with the important matters of release deliverables, release milestones, target operating environments, and release-to-release compatibility. These are all things that need to be clear for any release, even if no features were to change.

The remainder of the plan consists of plan items for all of the sub-projects under the top level Eclipse Project. Each plan item covers a feature or API that is to be added to the Eclipse Project deliverables, or some aspect of the Eclipse Project that is to be improved. Each plan item has its own entry in the Eclipse bugzilla database, with a title and a concise summary (usually a single paragraph) that explains the work item at a suitably high enough level so that everyone can readily understand what the work item is without having to understand the nitty-gritty detail.

Not all plan items represent the same amount of work; some may be quite large, others, quite small. Some plan items may involve work that is localized to a single component; others may involve coordinated changes to several components; other may pervade the entire SDK. Although some plan items are for work that is more pressing than others, the plan items appear in no particular order.

With the previous release as the starting point, this is the plan for how we will enhance and improve it. Fixing bugs, improving test coverage, documentation, examples, performance tuning, usability, etc. are considered routine ongoing maintenance activities and are not included in this plan unless they would also involve a significant change to the API or feature set, or involve a significant amount of work. The intent of the plan is to account for all interesting feature work.

The current status of each plan item is noted:

  • Committed plan item - A committed plan item is one that we have decided to address for the release.
  • Proposed plan item - A proposed plan item is one that we are considering addressing for the release. Although we are actively investigating it, we are not yet in a position to commit to it, or to say that we won't be able to address it. After due consideration, a proposal will either be committed or deferred.
  • Deferred plan item - A reasonable proposal that will not make it in to this release for some reason is marked as deferred with a brief note as to why it was deferred. Deferred plan items may resurface as committed plan items at a later point.

Release Deliverables

The release deliverables have the same form as previous releases, namely:

  • Source code release for all Eclipse Project deliverables, available as versions tagged "R3_6" in the Eclipse Project CVS repository.
  • Eclipse SDK (runtime binary and SDK for Equinox[*], Platform, JDT, and PDE) (downloadable).
  • Eclipse Platform (runtime binary and SDK for the Equinox[*] and Platform only) (downloadable).
  • Eclipse RCP (runtime binary and SDK for the Rich Client Platform) (downloadable).
  • Eclipse JDT (runtime binary and SDK for the Java Development Tools) (downloadable).
  • Eclipse PDE (runtime binary and SDK for the Plug-in Development Environment) (downloadable).
  • Eclipse SDK Examples (downloadable).
  • SWT distribution (downloadable).

* The Equinox Project is part of the top level RT Project. A significant portion of the Equinox deliverables are consumed and redistributed as part of the Eclipse Project's SDK, Platform, and RCP deliverables.

Table of Contents

Release Milestones

Release milestones will be occurring at roughly 6 week intervals, and will be aligned with the Helios Simultaneous Release train.

M108/07/2009
3.6M1
M209/18/2009
3.6M2
M310/30/2009
3.6M3
M412/11/2009
3.6M4
M501/29/2010
3.6M5
M603/12/2010
3.6M6 (API Freeze)
M704/30/2010
3.6M7 (Feature Freeze)
RC105/14/2010
3.6RC1
RC205/21/2010
3.6RC2
RC305/28/2010
3.6RC3
RC406/04/2010
3.6RC4

Individual, milestone level plans for the components that make up the Eclipse Project can be found on the Eclipse Project Helios Plan page on the Eclipse wiki.

Our target is to complete 3.6 in late June 2010, in alignment with Helios. All release deliverables will be available for download as soon as the release has been tested and validated in the target operating configurations listed below.

Dates for builds and test passes after M7 are available in the Eclipse Helios end-game plan.

Table of Contents

Target Environments

In order to remain current, each Eclipse Project release targets reasonably current operating environments.

Most of the Eclipse SDK is "pure" Java code and has no direct dependence on the underlying operating system. The chief dependence is therefore on the Java Platform itself. Portions are targeted to specific classes of operating environments, requiring their source code to only reference facilities available in particular class libraries (e.g. J2ME Foundation 1.1, J2SE 1.4, Java 5, etc).

In general, the 3.6 release of the Eclipse Project is developed on a mix of Java 1.4, Java 5 and Java 6 VMs. As such, the Eclipse SDK as a whole is targeted at all modern, desktop Java VMs. Most functionality is available for 1.4 level development everywhere, and extended development capabilities are made available on the VMs that support them.

Appendix 1 contains a table that indicates the class library level required for each bundle.

There are many different implementations of the Java Platform running atop a variety of operating systems. We focus our testing on a handful of popular combinations of operating system and Java Platform; these are our reference platforms. Eclipse undoubtedly runs fine in many operating environments beyond the reference platforms we test. However, since we do not systematically test them we cannot vouch for them. Problems encountered when running Eclipse on a non-reference platform that cannot be recreated on any reference platform will be given lower priority than problems with running Eclipse on a reference platform.

Eclipse 3.6 is tested and validated on the following reference platforms (this list is updated over the course of the release cycle):

Operating System Version Hardware JRE Windowing System
Windows 7 x86 32-bit Sun Java 5 Update 22
IBM Java 5 SR11
Win32
x86 64-bit
Vista x86 32-bit Sun Java 5 Update 22
IBM Java 5 SR11
Oracle JRockit 27.6.5
x86 64-bit Sun Java 5 Update 22
IBM Java 5 SR11
XP x86 32-bit Sun Java 6 Update 17
Sun Java 5 Update 22
IBM Java 5 SR11
Oracle JRockit 27.6.5
x86 64-bit Sun Java 5 Update 22
IBM Java 5 SR11
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.0 x86 32-bit Sun Java 6 Update 17
Sun Java 5 Update 22
IBM Java 5 SR11
Oracle JRockit 27.6.5
GTK
Power 64-bit IBM Java 5 SR11
4.0 x86 64-bit Sun Java 5 Update 22
IBM Java 5 SR11
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 x86 32-bit Sun Java 5 Update 22
IBM Java 5 SR11
GTK
x86 64-bit
Power 64-bit IBM Java 5 SR11
Ubuntu Long Term Support (new)10.04 x86 32-bit Sun Java 5 Update 22
IBM Java 5 SR11
GTK
x86 64-bit
Sun Solaris 10 x86 32-bit Sun Java 5 Update 22 GTK
SPARC 32-bit
HP-UX 11i v2 ia64 32-bit HP-UX Java 5 Update 18 Motif 2.1
IBM AIX 5.3 Power 32-bit IBM Java 5 SR11 Motif 2.1
Apple Mac OS X 10.5 Universal Apple Java 10.5 Update 2 Carbon
Universal 32-bit Cocoa
Universal 64-bit

As stated above, we expect that Eclipse works fine on other current Java VM and OS versions but we cannot flag these as reference platforms without significant community support for testing them.

Internationalization

The Eclipse SDK is designed as the basis for internationalized products. The user interface elements provided by the Eclipse SDK components, including dialogs and error messages, are externalized. The English strings are provided as the default resource bundles.

Latin-1 and DBCS locales are supported by the Eclipse SDK on all reference platforms; BIDI locales are supported by the Eclipse SDK everywhere but on Motif.

The Eclipse SDK supports GB 18030 (level 1), the Chinese code page standard, on Windows XP and 2000, Linux/GTK and the Macintosh.

German and Japanese locales are tested.

Table of Contents

Compatibility with Previous Releases

Compatibility of Release 3.6 with 3.5

Eclipse 3.6 will be compatible with Eclipse 3.5 (and all earlier 3.x versions).

API Contract Compatibility: Eclipse SDK 3.6 will be upwards contract-compatible with Eclipse SDK 3.5 except in those areas noted in the Eclipse 3.6 Plug-in Migration Guide . Programs that use affected APIs and extension points will need to be ported to Eclipse SDK 3.6 APIs. Downward contract compatibility is not supported. There is no guarantee that compliance with Eclipse SDK 3.6 APIs would ensure compliance with Eclipse SDK 3.5 APIs. Refer to Evolving Java-based APIs for a discussion of the kinds of API changes that maintain contract compatibility.

Binary (plug-in) Compatibility: Eclipse SDK 3.6 will be upwards binary-compatible with Eclipse SDK 3.5 except in those areas noted in the Eclipse 3.6 Plug-in Migration Guide . Downward plug-in compatibility is not supported. Plug-ins for Eclipse SDK 3.6 will not be usable in Eclipse SDK 3.5. Refer to Evolving Java-based APIs for a discussion of the kinds of API changes that maintain binary compatibility.

Source Compatibility: Eclipse SDK 3.6 will be upwards source-compatible with Eclipse SDK 3.5 except in the areas noted in the Eclipse 3.6 Plug-in Migration Guide . This means that source files written to use Eclipse SDK 3.5 APIs might successfully compile and run against Eclipse SDK 3.6 APIs, although this is not guaranteed. Downward source compatibility is not supported. If source files use new Eclipse SDK APIs, they will not be usable with an earlier version of the Eclipse SDK.

Workspace Compatibility: Eclipse SDK 3.6 will be upwards workspace-compatible with earlier 3.x versions of the Eclipse SDK unless noted. This means that workspaces and projects created with Eclipse SDK 3.5 .. 3.0 can be successfully opened by Eclipse SDK 3.6 and upgraded to a 3.6 workspace. This includes both hidden metadata, which is localized to a particular workspace, as well as metadata files found within a workspace project (e.g., the .project file), which may propagate between workspaces via file copying or team repositories. Individual plug-ins developed for Eclipse SDK 3.6 should provide similar upwards compatibility for their hidden and visible workspace metadata created by earlier versions; 3.6 plug-in developers are responsible for ensuring that their plug-ins recognize metadata from earlier versions and process it appropriately. User interface session state may be discarded when a workspace is upgraded. Downward workspace compatibility is not supported. A workspace created (or opened) by a product based on Eclipse 3.6 will be unusable with a product based on an earlier version of Eclipse. Visible metadata files created (or overwritten) by Eclipse 3.6 will generally be unusable with earlier versions of Eclipse.

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 in the Eclipse SDK API are inherently unsupportable and receive no guarantees about compatibility within a single release much less with earlier releases. Refer to How to Use the Eclipse API for information about how to write compliant plug-ins.

Table of Contents

Themes and Priorities

The plan items listed below were defined according to contributor requirements and the Eclipse Themes and Priorities set forth by the Eclipse Requirements Council. Each plan item covers a feature or API that is to be added to the Eclipse Project deliverables, or some aspect of the Eclipse Project that is to be improved. Each plan item has its own entry in the Eclipse bugzilla database, with a title and a concise summary (usually a single paragraph) that explains the work item at a suitably high enough level so that everyone can readily understand what the work item entails.

Although there are four projects under the top-level Eclipse Project, there is a significant amount of commonality and shared effort between them. In general, many plan items involve coordinated changes to multiple components, and thus attempting to separate the items into sections based on sub-project leads to artificial distinctions between them (e.g., Platform Text vs. JDT Text, Platform Debug vs. JDT Debug, etc.). As such, this plan covers the work of all projects under the top level Eclipse Project.

Not all plan items represent the same amount of work; some may be quite large, others, quite small. Although some plan items are for work that is more pressing than others, the plan items appear in no particular order. See the corresponding bugzilla items for up-to-date status information on ongoing work and planned delivery milestones.

The current status of each plan item is noted:

  • Committed plan item - A committed plan item is one that we have decided to address for the release. In bugzilla, this is reflected by having a concrete target milestone assigned.
  • Proposed plan item - A proposed plan item is one that we are considering addressing for the release. Although we are actively investigating it, we are not yet in a position to commit to it, or to say that we won't be able to address it. After due consideration, a proposal will either be committed or deferred. In bugzilla, such items are reflected by having a target milestone "3.6" or "---" assigned.
  • Deferred plan item - A reasonable proposal that will not make it in to this release for some reason is marked as deferred with a brief note as to why it was deferred. Deferred plan items may resurface as committed plan items at a later point. In bugzilla, such items are reflected by having a target milestone "Future" assigned.

Platforms

This work is focused on ensuring that Eclipse takes full advantage of all capabilities of the underlying technologies that it is based on, be they operating system, window system, Java or other. This includes support for native accessibility, internationalization and localization capabilities.

  • Committed
    • Support the win32 version of Eclipse on Windows 7. Fully support the 32-bit and 64-bit win32 version of SWT and the Eclipse SDK on Windows 7. We will ensure that applications built on the win32 version of SWT work as well as any other win32 API based application on Windows 7. This will increase our testing and support effort and potentially require new development to work around platform specific differences. [SWT, Platform UI, JDT UI] (288550)
    • ((new) committed) Support Ubuntu Ubuntu LTS is an increasingly popular choice as an enterprise Linux distribution. We will ensure that all Eclipse project Linux x86 builds run well on Ubuntu. This will increase our testing and support effort and potentially require new development to work around platform specific differences. [SWT] (288552)
    • ((new) committed) Focus on accessibility. We will work with the community to ensure that we have first-class, accessibility support that is compliant with important standards. [SWT] (252646)
  • Proposed

    None at this time.

  • Deferred
    • BIDI improvements. We will work on improving support for bidirectional text (BIDI). Work in this area may include support for setting text direction on Mac Cocoa, BIDI support in complex expressions, and leveraging SWT BIDI support throughout the user interface. [SWT, Platform UI, JDT UI] (288554 )
    • Add support for Java SE 7 features. The next feature release of Java SE is version 7, which will probably be available in the second half of 2010. While the contents of this release are still under discussion, that release is expected to contain extensions to the Java language, including annotations on types (JSR-308), modularity support (JSR-294), and other minor language changes (Coin project). Eclipse Java tooling will include initial support for compiling, editing, and launching applications for Java 7 for those parts which have publicly available specifications (only JSR-308 at this point). [JDT Core, JDT UI] (288548)

      NOTE: In order to align our schedule with the delayed official Java 7 appearance and due to lack of publicly available specifications (including lack of a Java 7 JSR), we have decided to move the development work to a separate branch and decouple it from the 3.6 release. In that branch we will continue to develop the Java 7 features as they become publicly accessible. We will deliver separate updates for the official builds in order to provide early access to Java 7 features.

Robustness

As the basis for the entire Eclipse eco-system, the Eclipse SDK must be robust, flexible and secure. This work will address those issues by providing API for missing or currently internal functionality, and focusing on the issues that affect the stability of the platform.

  • Committed
    • Help system extensibility. The current Eclipse Help web application provides limited support for customization by clients. Additional extensibility should be provided such as supporting insertion of custom views and frames, customizing the tool bar, and changing the look and feel (colors, fonts, etc). [User Assistance] (288558)
    • Asynchronous debug commands. Currently, the debug platform exposes interfaces for common commands but all implementation of the commands as well as scheduling operations are internal. We will provide an API and abstract implementation classes for creating asynchronous debug commands/actions. [Platform Debug] (284363)
    • ((new) committed) Flexible resources. The Resource architecture that Eclipse uses has been criticized for being overly Java-centric and constraining for some use cases. The e4 incubator explored this problem and developed some concrete improvements to the resource model to address these problems. We will review and polish those changes and back-port them to Helios stream where appropriate. [Workspace, Platform UI] (288556)
    • ((new) committed) API tools usage scan improvements. Eclipse SDK 3.5 included Ant-based support for generating usage scans that indicated what API and internals consumers were using. In this release we will add support to generate these scans from the UI, and provide tools for working with the scan data, such as comparison of scans, and flagging of changes that will break consumers who provided the scan data. [PDE] (288557)
    • ((new) committed) Focus on compatibility. Migrating across major platform releases is costly for consumers due to the magnitude of API and behavioral changes between releases. We will focus on reducing the migration cost by careful analysis of changes for their impact on compatibility, avoiding breaking behavior changes, use of API tooling to identify and correct breakages early, and better documentation of changes that impact compatibility. [All Components] (288559)
  • Proposed

    None at this time.

  • Deferred

    None at this time.

Consumability

This work will make it easier for users to get Eclipse, install it on their systems, and configure it for their use. It also covers work related to error handling and reporting mechanisms, and a number of enhancements to the Debug and PDE tools.

  • Committed
    • Build anywhere. The current Eclipse project build and test infrastructure is highly customized and tailored to a particular build environment. We will invest in simplifying and streamlining our build and test infrastructure to allow it to run in other hardware environments and be initiated by more people. [Rel. Eng., PDE] (288560)
    • Test framework support for JUnit 4. The Eclipse project automated test framework only supports running tests against Junit version 3. JUnit 3 was replaced several years ago by JUnit 4, so we will work to ensure JUnit 4 can be used to run automated JUnit tests. Although this isn't a completely compatible change we will work to find a solution that minimizes impact for clients of the test framework, and supports existing use cases such as testing with older platforms such as JDK 1.4. [Rel. Eng., JDT] (153429)
    • ((new) committed) Patch enhancements. We will improve the tools for viewing and applying patches. This includes work such as applying patches using the synchronize view, improved browsing of hunks, and applying patches from a URL. [Workspace] (288561)
    • ((new) committed) Debug and launch enhancements. We will invest in improving the platform debug infrastructure, including enhancing the breakpoints view, improving the Debug breadcrumb view, and support for launch configuration templates. [Platform Debug, JDT Debug] (288562)
  • Proposed

    None at this time.

  • Deferred

    None at this time.

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Appendix Execution Environment by Bundle

In the table below, the "3.6 minimum execution environment" column indicates the minimum Java class library requirements of each bundle for the 3.6 release, where the value is one of:

Entry Meaning
F1.0
J2ME Foundation 1.0 - indicates that the bundle can only be run on Foundation 1.0 or greater. Note that with the exception of some MicroEdition IO classes, Foundation 1.0 is a subset of J2SE 1.3.
F1.1
J2ME Foundation 1.1 - indicates that the bundle can only be run on Foundation 1.1 or greater. Note that with the exception of some MicroEdition IO classes, Foundation 1.1 is a subset of J2SE 1.4.
1.3
J2SE 1.3 - indicates that the bundle can only be run on JSE 1.3 or greater.
1.4
J2SE 1.4 - indicates that the bundle can only be run on JSE 1.4 or greater.
1.5
Java SE 5 - indicates that the bundle can only be run on Java SE 5 or greater.
1.6
Java SE 6 - indicates that the bundle can only be run on Java SE 6 or greater.
n/a Unknown at the time of this revision.

Table of minimum execution environments by bundle. (See also the Equinox Project plan for the execution environment requirements of bundles contributed via that project.)

Bundle

3.6
minimum
execution
environment

com.ibm.icu
F1.0
com.jcraft.jsch
1.4
org.apache.ant
J2SE-1.2
org.apache.lucene
not specified
org.apache.lucene.analysis
not specified
org.eclipse.ant.core
1.4
org.eclipse.ant.launching
1.4
org.eclipse.ant.ui
1.4
org.eclipse.compare
1.4
org.eclipse.compare.core
1.4
org.eclipse.compare.win32
1.4
org.eclipse.core.boot
F1.0
org.eclipse.core.commands
F1.0
org.eclipse.core.contenttype
F1.0
org.eclipse.core.databinding
F1.1
org.eclipse.core.databinding.beans
1.4
org.eclipse.core.databinding.observable
F1.1
org.eclipse.core.databinding.property
F1.1
org.eclipse.core.expressions
F1.0
org.eclipse.core.externaltools
1.4
org.eclipse.core.filebuffers
1.4
org.eclipse.core.filesystem
1.4
org.eclipse.core.jobs
F1.0
org.eclipse.core.net
F1.1
org.eclipse.core.resources
1.4
org.eclipse.core.runtime
F1.0
org.eclipse.core.runtime.compatibility
F1.0
org.eclipse.core.runtime.compatibility.auth
F1.0
org.eclipse.core.runtime.compatibility.registry
F1.0
org.eclipse.core.variables
1.4
org.eclipse.cvs
not specified
org.eclipse.debug.core
1.4
org.eclipse.debug.ui
1.4
org.eclipse.help
F1.0
org.eclipse.help.appserver
F1.0
org.eclipse.help.base
1.4
org.eclipse.help.ui
1.4
org.eclipse.help.webapp
1.4
org.eclipse.jdt
not specified
org.eclipse.jdt.apt.core
1.5
org.eclipse.jdt.apt.pluggable.core
1.6
org.eclipse.jdt.apt.ui
1.5
org.eclipse.jdt.compiler.apt
1.6
org.eclipse.jdt.compiler.tool
1.6
org.eclipse.jdt.core
1.4
org.eclipse.jdt.core.manipulation
1.4
org.eclipse.jdt.debug
1.4
org.eclipse.jdt.debug.ui
1.4
org.eclipse.jdt.doc.isv
not specified
org.eclipse.jdt.doc.user
not specified
org.eclipse.jdt.junit
1.4
org.eclipse.jdt.junit.core
1.4
org.eclipse.jdt.junit.runtime
1.3
org.eclipse.jdt.junit4.runtime
1.5
org.eclipse.jdt.launching
1.4
org.eclipse.jdt.ui
1.4
org.eclipse.jface
F1.1
org.eclipse.jface.databinding
F1.0
org.eclipse.jface.text
1.4
org.eclipse.jsch.core
1.4
org.eclipse.jsch.ui
1.4
org.eclipse.ltk.core.refactoring
1.4
org.eclipse.ltk.ui.refactoring
1.4
org.eclipse.pde
1.4
org.eclipse.pde.api.tools
1.4
org.eclipse.pde.api.tools.ui
1.4
org.eclipse.pde.build
1.4
org.eclipse.pde.core
1.4
org.eclipse.pde.doc.user
not specified
org.eclipse.pde.ds.core
1.4
org.eclipse.pde.ds.ui
1.4
org.eclipse.pde.junit.runtime
1.4
org.eclipse.pde.launching
1.4
org.eclipse.pde.runtime
1.4
org.eclipse.pde.ua.core
1.4
org.eclipse.pde.ua.ui
1.4
org.eclipse.pde.ui
1.4
org.eclipse.pde.ui.templates
1.4
org.eclipse.platform
F1.0
org.eclipse.platform.doc.isv
not specified
org.eclipse.platform.doc.user
not specified
org.eclipse.rcp
not specified
org.eclipse.sdk
not specified
org.eclipse.search
1.4
org.eclipse.swt
F1.0
org.eclipse.team.core
1.4
org.eclipse.team.cvs.core
1.4
org.eclipse.team.cvs.ssh2
1.4
org.eclipse.team.cvs.ui
1.4
org.eclipse.team.ui
1.4
org.eclipse.text
1.4
org.eclipse.ui
F1.0
org.eclipse.ui.browser
1.4
org.eclipse.ui.cheatsheets
1.4
org.eclipse.ui.console
1.4
org.eclipse.ui.editors
1.4
org.eclipse.ui.externaltools
1.4
org.eclipse.ui.forms
1.4
org.eclipse.ui.ide
1.4
org.eclipse.ui.ide.application
1.4
org.eclipse.ui.intro
1.4
org.eclipse.ui.intro.universal
1.4
org.eclipse.ui.navigator
1.4
org.eclipse.ui.navigator.resources
1.4
org.eclipse.ui.net
F1.1
org.eclipse.ui.presentations.r21
1.4
org.eclipse.ui.views
1.4
org.eclipse.ui.views.log
1.4
org.eclipse.ui.views.properties.tabbed
F1.0
org.eclipse.ui.win32
1.4
org.eclipse.ui.workbench
F1.1
org.eclipse.ui.workbench.compatibility
1.4
org.eclipse.ui.workbench.texteditor
1.4
org.eclipse.update.configurator
F1.0
org.eclipse.update.core
F1.0
org.eclipse.update.core.win32
not specified
org.eclipse.update.scheduler
F1.0
org.eclipse.update.ui
F1.0
org.hamcrest.core
1.5
org.junit 3.8.2
1.3
((new) updated) org.junit 4.8.1
1.5
org.junit4
1.5
org.objectweb.asm
1.3

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