A mixed bag for OSGi as 2012 begins

What does the future hold for OSGi without leader Peter Kriens?

Chris Mayer

They may have lost inspirational director and evangelist Peter Kriens, but receive huge boost for JavaSE 8 modularity

The early days of 2012 have left those right at the heart of
OSGi development ambivalent over some of the latest developments
within their ecosystem.

First the good. Discussions have begun over a new project to
explore and implement interoperability between JDK modularity
focused, Project Jigsaw and OSGi implementation. After initial
Jigsaw mailing list discussions, Tim Ellison made a proposal
for Project
a sub project with a goal to create a
forum for the Jigsaw and OSGi communities to collaborate on
this requirement, ultimately delivering a prototype to demonstrate
the module systems’ interoperability.

Obviously, the ties to Jigsaw will be close, but it seems a
logical move to incorporate OSGI into OpenJDK given
the amount of people who use it or are aware of its status as the
modularity standard. Many a blog has been written about the

neccessity of OSGi featuring with JavaSE 8 modules
well, so this can only be seen positively, that the issue has been

Ellison added:

This project will cooperate with the Jigsaw project and OSGi
implementation projects to show how OSGi will run on Jigsaw
runtime, howto load Jigsaw modules into OSGi frameworks,
demonstrate how to use the APIs of Jigsaw to achieve the goal, and
evolve any APIs, tooling etc

The search now begins for a Group Leader to sponsor the project,
as well as those who are willing to come forward as supporters,
committers or authors. 


Now on to the bad news. OSGi’s Technical Director and key driver
over the last decade, Peter Kriens announced that he would be
moving on from his role after over 10 years at the helm.

He announced his decision to step down on
OSGi Alliance’s website
, citing an opportunity in the market as
his reason for leaving. Kriens said

 I think the OSGi service model is as important as
structured programming and  object orientation was in the
previous decades to increase productivity in the software industry.
The reason to leave is that I see a business opportunity in
the gap between the mainstream Java developer and where OSGi is
. Working with the myriad of problems around
modularity has given me a solid background to ease the transition
of existing applications into more modular software. And after a
decade of writing specifications creating real systems again looks
pretty attractive.

Kriens will stay on as until after OSGi DevCon 2012
in Reston, Virginia at the end of March, finishing up the remaining
Core and Enterprise specifications under his

It may leave the OSGi Alliance without guidance for a short
time. After all Kriens is Mr OSGi and his guidance will be missed.
But perhaps this move (as shocking as it might seem initially)
isn’t all bad news. By finding a new path to demonstrate the powers
of the OSGi platform, we may see a new generation emerging, and it
should be intriguing to see what he comes up with next. 

In 1998, he was called by Ericcson to help them get the
Java Embedded Server running on their e-box, quickly becoming in
charge of their OSGi division for the next decade, underseeing all
of the OSGi Alliance’s key work and getting some of the key players involved such
as IBM, Oracle, Red Hat. Kriens touches upon his achievements
in his announcement.

A hectic decade followed with too much travel, several
economic booms and busts, various controversies, working with some
really great people, and many rock solid specifications to show for
it. When I look at my bookshelf I see a satisfying sight of two
shelves with OSGi specifications and books. All said, it was a
pretty good decade.

Indeed it was, Peter. Keep an eye on his Twitter account for
any signs of the next project!

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