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j1-2k8-mtW06: API compatibility puzzles

July 16, 2008








Many Java developers create API libraries for use by applications. Such libraries typically evolve over time, providing more and more functionality with each release. At the same time, it's important to preserve backward compatibility of the API so that the API libraries could be upgraded without any negative effects on existing applications.

This session focuses on a series of common API modifications that seem like normal modifications, but can manifest subtle compatibility problems. Attendees will acquire skills to evaluate API changes for backwards compatibility, and how to sidestep compatibility pitfalls.

The Java Conformance team at Sun has been part of the API evolution in both Java SE and ME, where preserving backward compatibility is critical to platform success. In this session we'd like to share our experience in this area. A short overview of compatibility problems in general will be presented, as well as the API compatibility puzzles.

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