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InfoQ Homepage News Interview: Peter Kriens discusses OSGi

Interview: Peter Kriens discusses OSGi

OSGi is a Java modular development specification. OSGi is used in a wide variety of applications, from mobile phones to enterprise servers and the Eclipse IDE. In this interview, Peter Kriens explains where OSGi came from, what sorts of applications it's useful for, integration with Spring, the JSR 277/294 debate, and the future of OSGi.

Watch Peter Kriens discusses OSGi (35 minutes).

From the interview:

if you look at OSGI one of the most elegant things in it is that everything is dynamic: if you change the configuration it's done on the fly; if you install a new bundle, a new application, it is installed on the fly, immediately it's services will be available to anybody that wants to use it and when you uninstall it, it will be removed from the system and other bundles have to adapt. The dynamicity is one of the most elegant parts. It's the modularity, being able for the service providers, and also for the operators to package their application in a single file and deploy it on the system, and on top of that the service layer that allows you to have these bundles communicate with each other in a non straight way. They will be able to find and bind in a dynamic way.

On OSGi's relationship with JSR 277:

I was very interested in 277 when it came out; I tried very hard to get on board because of the experience of working in this area for 8 years. I thought I would be a very welcomed guest on JSR 277. Unfortunately I got told that there were already too many people on board, the group was 14 people at the time, currently I think it's about 25, and I tried to contact some other people directly that I knew that might help me get on board but I didn't get on board, which of course was a very bad sign. Because there were 2 people that were knowledgeable about OSGi, Richard Hall and Glyn Normington but they didn't have the kind of background or the history. When you develop something like OSGi you run into a lot of problems, we've gone through 4 releases and if you look at the spec you see that there's a lot of maturity in it, a lot of details that we have learnt the hard way, and they are not always obvious. It's really nice to be able to help other people that want to go there, plus of course from an OSGi point of view it would be important that 277 would not make OSGi impossible.

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