Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Eclipse Bundle Recipes project to supersede SpringSource Enterprise Bundle Repository (EBR)

IBM, Paremus, Rebaze, Red Hat, and VMware/SpringSource, with interested parties Peter Kriens and SAP, have submitted an Eclipse Bundle Recipes project proposal aiming to provide a repository of OSGi bundle templates for open source JARs. The intention is that this will supersede the SpringSource Enterprise Bundle Repository (EBR).

It's been nearly a couple of years since we made the templates from the SpringSource EBR available on github. Apart from several pull requests from Raman Gupta (a.k.a. rocketraman, pictured below), not much appeared to happen...

In fact, quite a lot was happening behind the scenes. I was in touch with various colleagues in other companies to see if there was interest in creating a community-based replacement for the SpringSource EBR. It turned out that several large vendors did want to join in, but some of them were very cautious about the licenses of the JAR files that the project would handle. For this reason, we went in the direction of a project to host just the manifest templates.

Clearly, this wasn't going to be much use to people needing to download OSGi bundles, so we also discussed how to make the resultant bundles available. One approach was to generate the bundles on the client machine to cope with most, if not all, open source licenses. The downside of this is the potential lack of reproducibility each time a bundle is generated.

The more people we talked to, the more interest there was in storing the generated bundles in Maven Central. It turns out this is exactly what the Pax Tipi project over at OPS4J started doing last year. So we hope to build on their experience, but perhaps achieve a higher profile.

So the plan is to collaborate on templates at the Eclipse Bundle Recipes project, but also have these published to Maven Central. The details need to be worked out, but now that the Eclipse project proposal has been submitted, we can finally talk about this in public. The project fits naturally into the Eclipse Runtime umbrella project.

Interestingly, another resource for people wanting to add OSGi manifests to existing project has recently become available - the metadata advice bugzilla category at the OSGi Alliance. This should be a valuable resource for anyone wanting to develop a high quality OSGi manifest for a third party JAR.
So the scene is finally set for some progress on superseding the SpringSource EBR. Watch this space or, better still, keep an eye on the Eclipse Bundle Recipes project and or get involved. There's a discussion topic on the proposals forum if you want to comment.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Virgo Community Survey

It's a couple of years since we ran the first Virgo survey and the project has moved on a lot since then. So we've just published a new Eclipse Virgo Community Survey. If you use Virgo, I'd really appreciate it if you could take a few minutes to complete the survey. If you are short of time, please just fill in the first six questions and skip the rest.

Question 12 is a fun quiz about the use of OSGi in application servers. You'll probably find it interesting even if you have no interest in Virgo. We'll provide the answers in a few weeks time along with the survey results.

Here's the survey if you want to get going right away.


OSGi (130) Virgo (59) Eclipse (10) Equinox (9) dm Server (8) Felix (4) WebSphere (3) Aries (2) GlassFish (2) JBoss (1) Newton (1) WebLogic (1)