Eclipse Modeling Framework (EMF)
Draft 2.5.0 Plan

Last revised $Date: 2008/07/11 19:10:44 $ ( marks interesting changes over previous plans).

Please send comments about this draft plan to the developer mailing list or the newsgroup.

This document lays out the feature and API set for the next feature release, 2.5.0, of the Eclipse Modeling Framework (EMF) project.

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, plans are posted in an embryonic form and then revised from time to time 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 the projects under the EMF project. Each plan item covers a feature or API that is to be added, or some aspect 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 subsystem; others may involve coordinated changes across several projects within the same top-level project; and others may involve coordination with other top-level projects. Although some plan items are for work that is more pressing that 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.

Release Deliverables

The release deliverables are:

Release Milestones

EMF builds are available weekly as Integration builds. EMF Milestone Releases are one business day after the Eclipse Milestone Releases.

Following the final milestone, release candidates will begin. EMF Release Candidates are planned to be released one business day after each Eclipse Release Candidate (forthcoming) . This convergence is required to meet the goals of the Ganymede Simultaneous Release.

Scheduled release candidates should end in 2008Q2, and beyond that point, will be produced only as needed, leading up to a release in late 2008Q2.

Target Operating Environments

In order to remain current, each release of an Eclipse project targets reasonably current versions of underlying operating environments and other Eclipse projects on which it depends.

Most of Eclipse is "pure" Java TM code and has no direct dependence on the underlying operating system. The chief dependence is on the Eclipse Platform, and on the Java 2 Platform that runs it.

The EMF 2.5.0 releases depend on the following:

The 2.5.0 releases of EMF are designed to run on any configuration supporting the above components.

The Eclipse Platform runs in a variety of operating environments. Testing is focused on a handful of popular combinations of operating system and Java 2 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 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.

See the Eclipse Project 3.5 plan for a list of reference platforms.


Eclipse is designed as the basis for internationalized products. The user interface elements provided by the various Eclipse projects, including dialogs and error messages, are externalized. The English strings for EMF are provided as the default resource bundles. Translations are not provided with this release. However, the plug-in fragment mechanism provides the means by which translations into any number of other languages can be incorporated.

Compatibility with Previous Releases

Compatibility of Release 2.5.0 with 2.4.0

EMF 2.5.0 will be compatible with EMF 2.4.0, except in those areas noted in the EMF 2.5.0 Migration Guide.

API Contract Compatibility: EMF 2.5.0 will be upwards contract-compatible with EMF 2.4.0 except in those areas noted in the EMF 2.5.0 Migration Guide. Programs that use affected APIs and extension points will need to be ported to EMF 2.5.0 APIs. Downward contract compatibility is not supported. There is no guarantee that compliance with EMF 2.5.0 APIs would ensure compliance with EMF 1.x APIs. Refer to Evolving Java-based APIs for a discussion of the kinds of API changes that maintain contract compatibility.

Binary (plug-in) Compatibility: EMF 2.5.0 will be upwards binary-compatible with EMF 2.4.0 except in those areas noted in the EMF 2.5.0 Migration Guide. Downward plug-in compatibility is not supported: plug-ins compiled against EMF 2.5.0 will likely be unusable with EMF 1.x. Refer to Evolving Java-based APIs for a discussion of the kinds of API changes that maintain binary compatibility.

Source Compatibility: Source files written to use EMF 2.4.0 APIs will usually compile and run successfully against EMF 2.5.0 APIs, although this cannot be guaranteed. In some cases, it may be necessary to make minor changes to the source code to disambiguate things like imports or overloaded method invocations. Downward source compatibility is not supported. If source files use new APIs, they will not be usable with earlier versions.

Workspace Compatibility: EMF 2.5.0 will be upwards workspace-compatible with EMF 2.4.0 unless noted. This means that workspaces and projects created by an Eclipse with EMF 2.4.0 installed can be successfully opened by an Eclipse with EMF 2.5.0 installed. This includes both hidden metadata, which is localized to a particular workspace, as well as metadata files found within a workspace project, which may propagate between workspaces via file copying or team repositories. User interface session state may be discarded when a workspace is upgraded. Downward workspace compatibility is not supported. Metadata files created (or overwritten) by the newer version will generally be unusable with older versions.

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 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.

Almost the entire EMF code is available in non-internal packages and are assumed to be used and extended by users. The main exception is extending the Ecore model itself directly (i.e., extending or implementing org.eclipse.emf.ecore.EModelElement). There are no guarantees that these extensions won't be broken by changes in EMF. If you are not sure that your code has such extensions, please send a question to the developer mailing list or to the newsgroup.

EMF 2.5.0 Migration Guide

At this time, there are no known issues migrating from 2.4.0 to 2.5.0. Should this change, this document will be revised, or a secondary document will be added documenting any known issues.


The changes under consideration for the next release of Eclipse EMF address a few major themes:

Additionally, the following plan items have been proposed.

The current status of each plan item is noted:

EMF Project

Plan items reflect new features of the EMF project, or areas where existing features will be significantly reworked.

Committed Items

Bugzillas with a target milestone set are committed to that release. For the most current list of these items, see the following links:

2.5.0 release:

All Open | All Resolved | All Bugs

Proposed Items

Bugzillas without a specific target milestone are proposed, but not committed for a particular release. This list also includes Bugzillas that were proposed for older releases but have not yet been addressed. For the most current list of these items, see the following links:

Open | Resolved

Deferred Items

Bugzillas assigned to the non-specific target of 'Future' are deferred, and not scheduled for a particular release. For the most current list of these items, see the following link:

All Open

Plan Items

Plan item bugzillas from this and previous releases:

All Open | All Resolved | All Bugs

Note that for the links above, you may need to reset your browser's cookie(s) in order to see all the appropriate columns.