Equinox Summit 2007

I’m in Ottawa, at the Equinox Summit 2007, deep dive into Eclipse Equinox, the Eclipse Foundation OSGi framework.

Most interesting bits are about p2 (formerly Equinox provisioning), which basically is a way to populate a OSGi runtime from a repository (similar to a Maven repository), so after talking to Pascal Rapicault I think it’d be great if the default format of the repository were a Maven repo, that would allow using a repository manager like Maestro (or Apache Archiva).

p2 is going to use a new metadata format called Installable Units (IU) that will define the dependencies and other info about the project. It’s interesting to see how this approach aligns with Maven’s, both in the usage of a repository and externalizing the metadata out of the binary artifact (vs. OSGi usage of the manifest.mf). The reason is that the metadata needs to be gathered before the binaries to show information to the user, perform the resolution,…

An interesting point is the role that Kepler can play. Kepler is an Eclipse Foundation proposal created by DevZuz to handle collaboration metadata about projects. I’ll talk in more detail about Kepler in the future as we prepare the creation process, but you can take a look at the wiki. Kepler defines an extensible model with some core information and extensions for things like licensing, participants, build information (Maven, Ant,…), any kind of internal company info,… There’s already a Maven adaptor that will extract the information from a Maven pom, so it’d definitely make sense to have support for Equinox UIs and consider the generation of UIs from poms and viceversa through Kepler.

Another topic was Spring-OSGi by Adrian Colyer (Interface21 CTO), now called Spring Dynamic Modules for the OSGi TM platform (you gotta love trademarks), explaining how Spring easily supports exposing beans as OSGi services and consuming services using proxies to hide the OSGi dynamic nature and alleviate as possible. Right now you can take advantage using the latest 2.1 milestone (upcoming 2.5) of spring-core and spring-osgi jars. They will be increasing their OSGi support to the rest of the spring modules in the next months.

Other topics covered at the summit were tooling, how PDE is going to support these IUs, improvement of headless builds, logging,…

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