What causes java.lang.IncompatibleClassChangeError?

This means that you have made some incompatible binary changes to the library without recompiling the client code. Java Language Specification §13 details all such changes, most prominently, changing non-static non-private fields/methods to be static or vice versa.

Recompile the client code against the new library, and you should be good to go.

UPDATE: If you publish a public library, you should avoid making incompatible binary changes as much as possible to preserve what’s known as “binary backward compatibility”. Updating dependency jars alone ideally shouldn’t break the application or the build. If you do have to break binary backward compatibility, it’s recommended to increase the major version number (e.g. from 1.x.y to 2.0.0) before releasing the change.

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