Friday, June 22, 2007

Module-superpackage relationship

In the comparison of JSR 277 and JSR 291 features, I alluded to the fact that the module-superpackage relationship is a difference, but Andreas pointed out another way in which the relationship differs.

My original observation was that the cardinality of the relationship is different. JSR 277 specifies modules which build directly on superpackages: there is a one-one relationship between deployment modules and superpackages.

JSR 291, on the other hand, makes no explicit reference to superpackages as these are yet to find their way officially into Java. But, if JSR 294 continues in its current direction, it will be possible to include one or more superpackages inside a JSR 291 module. So the relationship between JSR 291 modules and superpackages will have 1:0..n cardinality.

Andreas' point was that JSR 277 is integrated with JSR 294 in that a JSR 277 module's metadata consists of a superpackage and its annotations.

JSR 291, in contrast, is currently agnostic about superpackages and their names, members, exports, and annotations. JSR 291 maintains its own metadata in a separate manifest file and so is not integrated with JSR 294.

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