Programmers Were Born Free, And Are Everywhere In Toolchains

Eclipse architect Kim Moir invokes Rousseau as a design mentor:

One of the goals of the Eclipse project was to encourage open source and commercial consumers of this technology to extend the platform to meet their needs, and one way to encourage this adoption is to provide a stable API. An API can be thought of as a technical contract specifying the behavior of your application. It also can be thought of as a social contract. On the Eclipse project, the mantra is, “API is forever”. Thus careful consideration must be given when writing an API given that it is meant to be used indefinitely. A stable API is a contract between the client or API consumer and the provider. This contract ensures that the client can depend on the Eclipse platform to provide the API for the long term without the need for painful refactoring on the part of the client. A good API is also flexible enough to allow the implementation to evolve.