Today numerous software systems are being developed on top of frameworks. In this study, we analyzed the survival of 467 Eclipse third-party plug-ins altogether having 1,447 versions. We classify these plug-ins into two categories: those that depend on only stable and supported Eclipse APIs and those that depend on at least one of the potentially unstable, discouraged and unsupported Eclipse non-APIs.
Comparing the two categories of plug-ins, we observed that the plug-ins depending solely on APIs have a very high source compatibility success rate compared to those that depend on at least one of the non-APIs. However, we have also observed that recently released plug-ins that depend on non-APIs also have a very high forward source compatibility success rate. This high source compatibility success rate is due to the dependency structure of these plug-ins: recently released plug-ins that depend on non-APIs predominantly depend on old Eclipse non-APIs rather than on newly introduced ones. Finally, we showed that the majority of plug-ins hosted on SourceForge do not evolve beyond the first year of release.
|Name||Computer science reports|