- No changes should be made in a bug fix release.
- Any changes can be made in a minor or major version. Incompatible changes should only be made if there is a benefit to users that outweighs the negative impact to users. If possible use deprecation instead of making incompatible changes.
- All types used within this package should be declared in Accumulo's public API or under this package. This rule makes it possible to achieve the other rules. Accumulo's build uses Apilyzer to check this rule.
- Types under this package are intended for Accumulo users. If a type is only intended to be used internally by Accumulo, it should not be placed here.
There are no hard and fast rules for a developer trying to decide if something should go into this package, Accumulo's public API, or outside of both. If it can follow the rules then its eligible for placement here. Below are some reasons things have or have not been placed here in the past.
- Scan executors and cache plugins were placed here because they are tightly coupled to Accumulo's scan execution model. If the execution model for scans is changed, incompatible changes may have to be made. Trying to support a deprecation cycle may mean having to support a new and old scan execution model in a single release, which may be impractical. Also these plugins never impact users data or query results, they only impact performance via table configuration.
- Crypto was placed here because its experimental and subject to change.
- Iterators are server side plugins, but were placed into Accumulo's public API instead of here because they are so tightly coupled to users data model. Iterators can change the data returned by a scan. The stricter rules of the API respect this tight coupling with users data model.
Before this package was created many plugin interface were created for Accumulo. These plugin interfaces used internal Accumulo types, which transitively used other internal types. This undisciplined use of any types made it impractical to reason about, analyze, or make any guarantees about plugin stability. This package was created to solve that problem. Hopefully existing plugins (like the balancer) can be migrated to this package.