Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are a
tremendous resource—that is, when they are stable. Several
studies have shown that this is unfortunately not the case. Of
those, a large-scale study of API changes in the Pharo Smalltalk
ecosystem documented several findings about API deprecations
and their impact on API clients.
We conduct a partial replication of this study, considering
more than 25,000 clients of five popular Java APIs on GitHub.
This work addresses several shortcomings of the previous study,
namely: a study of several distinct API clients in a popular,
statically-typed language, with more accurate version information.
We compare and contrast our findings with the previous
study and highlight new ones, particularly on the API client
update practices and the startling similarities between reaction
behavior in Smalltalk and Java.