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What is different between the dot.dot release and a service pack?
It adds confusion when discussing software compatibly between Arc and other software packages (especially if other software follows a similar pattern of naming their versions) ie. (some software package) Version 8 is compatible with Arc 10.0, Version 10 is compatible with Arc 10.1, and version 12 will be compatible with Arc 10.2. I know compatibility matrices are helpful, but when talking about software with people who are not familiar with all the different versions it seems like unnecessary added confusion. It also creates confusion when talking about compatibility between different pieces of ArcGIS software.
Back to the original question...
Addins are ArcGIS-version specific. A 10.2 compiled Addin won't work with 10.1, even if the underlying ArcObjects code is 10.1 compatible. It's also true vice-versa.
Maybe in .NET, but in Java, I have an Add-in developed in 10.0 and it works fine in 10.2 with no code changes required.
Your Add-in was written in Java?
I just tested one today. A customer has an old Add-in (Java) that I gave them two years ago. I moved it to a 10.2 ArcMap to see what I needed to change and it works fine.
Full disclosure, I am not doing anything version specific in this Add-in. If I had been checking the license level, I would have had to recompile it to use the correct esriLicenseProductCode constant.
The Add-in edits a shapefile.
I think you and Mr. Neilsen are correct when it comes to .NET Add-ins because the references you add to your project are compiled to specific versions in Visual Studio.
I don't have, haven't had so far, this problem with Java. Other than version specific changes to ArcObjects Java code that I mentioned regarding licensing constants. I'm sure this will probably change now that the cat is out of the bag.
I'm not sure why more people aren't coding in Java in the ESRI platform.
I thought about compiling a Top 10 Reasons to switch to Java for the New Year, but never got working on it.