Mike Milinkovich Speaks Out On JSR 337

The OSGi community have one last kick at this can. This is it.

Mike Milinkovich has attempted to clear up, once and for all, why Eclipse is supporting the JSR for SE8, after Neil Bartlett asked him via Twitter: "Why is Eclipse listed as a supporter of JSR 337 (i.e. Java SE 8) given that it is still essentially anti-OSGi?" In Mike Milinkovich's opinion, the 'JSR 337 is anti-OSGi' rumours can be traced back to Section 2.1's description of modularity, which touches on OSGi-centric features without acknowledging the existence of OSGi. Mike Milinkovich still champions OSGI - "of course, OSGi already does this stuff and could easily be the solution for the set of described requirements" - but he views the statements made in JSR 337 as fair, when the status quo of the JDK is taken into consideration. Plus, Section 2.5 states that, although frameworks and tools already exist to support these tasks, "standardization in the Java SE Platform would promote interoperability and benefit developers, users, and vendors." The idea of standardisation benefiting the wider Java community, is a valid one.

What really won Mike Milinkovich's support, was Section 3 of the JSR, where the investment the Java community has made to build apps and frameworks that use the OSGI module layer is acknowledged, and it is explained that "the extent to which the Java Platform Module System should adopt, interoperate with, or otherwise accommodate OSGi will be a topic for that JSR's Expert Group and the Java SE 8 Expert Group to discuss and decide." Mike Milinkovich views this JSR as OSGi getting its foot in the door: "(it is) the beginning of a conversation about the shape of modularity in the base Java platform." He is pragmatic and believes this conversion may take years, but this JSR is an important forum for the discussion on modularity. If, ultimately, the end result is anti-OSGi, he makes it clear he will be casting his vote against it. He defines 'anti-OSGi' as blocking the OSGi ecosystem from operating on SE8, or disadvantaging it with platform modularity in the areas of performance and scalability. He is, however, open-minded to the possibility of the OSGi specs being revised to better suit the needs of Java developers.

Mike Milinkovich perceives an upwards struggle against "Mark Reinhold and others at Oracle" who have made it clear that OSGi does not fit with their vision for platform modularity, but he wishes to steer clear of the name calling and negativity that have previously characterised the modularity debates. "We (the OSGi) community have one last kick at this can. This is it."

Jessica Thornsby

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