Monday, January 29, 2007

What's the point of JSR 291?

It seemed time to re-iterate the reasoning behind JSR 291. For example, Sun's recent voting comment showed they apparently still don't understand what the JSR's there for.

There's a ton1 of software already built on top of OSGi and it keeps increasing. Since this is mostly Java code, the JCP ought to take notice, and sooner rather than later.

As Sun point out, the specification and its expert group already exist thanks to the OSGi Alliance, so what could standardisation in the JCP possibly add?

Well, there are benefits to the JCP and to OSGi. The Java community gets access to the specification, RI, and TCK in the familiar, JCP-standard way. OSGi gets another source of requirements, continuing its tradition of engaging with current and potential users.

Compatibility with Java ME
JSR 232 does a similar job to JSR 291, but for Java ME. Having a consistent, compatible dynamic component system across Java SE and Java ME is a no-brainer.

1. Although good project managers use KLOCs only in joking terms these days, no better metric has gained universal acceptance. The 'ton' is a strong contender as it refers to the mass of software, rather than its volume. 'kiloton' and 'megaton' are useful for larger software projects, especially in the defence sector.

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