Eclipse UML2
1.1 Plan

Last revised 13:10 EDT July 26, 2005 ( marks interesting changes over the previous plan revision)

    Please send comments about this draft plan to the mdt-uml2.dev@eclipse.org developer mailing list.

This document lays out the feature and API set for the next feature release of the Eclipse UML2 project after 1.0, designated release 1.1.

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 Eclipse UML2 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

Release milestone occurring at roughly 6 week intervals exist to facilitate coarse-grained planning and staging. The milestones are:

The 1.1 release is targeted for 2Q2005. 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.

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" JavaTM 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 UML2 1.1 release depends on the following:

The 1.1 release of UML2 is 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 3.1 plan for a list of reference platforms.

Internationalization

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 UML2 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 1.1 with 1.0

Eclipse UML2 1.1 will be compatible with UML2 1.0.

API Contract Compatibility: UML2 1.1 will be upwards contract-compatible with UML2 1.0 except in those areas noted in the UML2 1.1 Migration Guide. Programs that use affected APIs and extension points will need to be ported to UML2 1.1 APIs. Downward contract compatibility is not supported. There is no guarantee that compliance with UML2 1.1 APIs would ensure compliance with UML2 1.0 APIs. Refer to Evolving Java-based APIs for a discussion of the kinds of API changes that maintain contract compatibility.

Binary (plug-in) Compatibility: UML2 1.1 will be upwards binary-compatible with UML2 1.0 except in those areas noted in the UML2 1.1 Migration Guide. Downward plug-in compatibility is not supported: plug-ins compiled against UML2 1.1 will likely be unusable with UML2 1.0. 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 UML2 1.0 APIs will usually compile and run successfully against UML2 1.1 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: Eclipse UML2 1.1 will be upwards workspace-compatible with UML2 1.0 unless noted. This means that workspaces and projects created by an Eclipse with UML2 1.0 installed can be successfully opened by an Eclipse with UML2 1.1 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.

Themes

The changes under consideration for the next release of Eclipse UML2 address a few major themes:

Each theme has a number of items; the relevant theme is identified for each committed, proposed, and deferred plan items.

The items listed reflect new features or areas where existing features will be significantly reworked. Numbers in parentheses link to bugzilla problem reports for that plan item.

The current status of each plan item is noted:

UML2 project

UML2 is an EMF-based implementation of the UMLTM 2.0 metamodel for the Eclipse platform. Plan items reflect new features of the UML2 project, or areas where existing features will be significantly reworked ( marks completed work).

Committed Items (UML2 project)

 Eclipse 3.1 / EMF 2.1 Compatibility. Maintain release currency concurrent with EMF 2.1 (and Eclipse 3.1). Make changes as required to align with EMF bug fixes. (77405) [Theme: Release Currency]

Migration Framework. Provide a mechanism (using the Ecore2Ecore mapping framework and extended metadata) for migrating resources based on different (older) versions of the UML2 schema. Contribute the framework to the EMF project. (77410) [Theme: Built To Last]

Resource Localization. Provide a mechanism for arbitrary (named) elements to be localized via properties bundles either co-located with the resource or distributed in a fragment. Enhance the existing stereotype keyword mechanism to support properties bundles distributed in fragments, i.e. 75659. (77406) [Theme: Built To Last]

Update Site Support. Provide UML2 runtime binary and SDK features on eclipse.org update site (install via Eclipse update manager). (77411) [Theme: Simple To Use]

Instance Creation Support. Provide a mechanism for creating instance specifications from classifiers. Enhance profile/stereotype operations to allow the values of complex stereotype properties (i.e. those typed by classifiers) to be accessed using instance specifications. (78296) [Theme: Simple To Use]

More Examples. Deliver resource generation and query utilities to the open source community as examples. Introduce robust actions for converting models between Ecore and UML2 (and deprecate the existing import wizards). (77412) [Theme: Simple To Use]

EMF Generator Extensions. Refactor the custom Ecore "builder" and JET templates that were used to generate the UML2 metamodel and deliver them to the open source community, pending the availability of EMF generator extensibility enhancements, i.e. 75923, 75925, and 75933. Provide an extension that builds an Ecore model from UML2 models. (77408) [Theme: Simple To Use]

Proposed Items (UML2 project)

None at this time.

Deferred Items (UML2 project)

 Improved Documentation. Improve UML2 documentation by updating the FAQ, enhancing the Javadoc, and publishing new articles. (77413) [Theme: Simple To Use]