Monday, February 25, 2013

New OSGi Tool Chain Documentation

People sometimes say that OSGi is hard to use because tooling support is lacking. Well, there are actually quite a lot of OSGi-related tools out there, but many of them address a specific area. They often work together with other tools to address a larger context. A modular approach to tooling, if you like... One of the issues with this approach was however that it could be hard to find out how these tools are working together to address a real life scenario. An example scenario would be how to set up an entire development environment that includes a headless build, and IDE with debugging facilities and a testing environment. Documentation describing how to do all this using a combination of existing tools was not easily available.

Over the past months a number of people have worked together on creating a set of documentation pages that describe various OSGi toolchains: how a number of tools can be combined to create an end-to-end solution. For example, it describes how Bndtools can be used with Ant and Eclipse to create a comprehensive development setup. But there are more options. Not everyone uses Bndtools, other people might use Tycho with Eclipse and Maven. This is also documented. As is how to use Maven with Bnd, Eclipse and Pax-Exam. 
Additionally there is a page describing how to set up a Scala build environment for OSGi using SBT.

All the details of how to get going are described on a new set of pages focusing on documenting OSGi tool chains on the OSGi wiki. You can find them here:

The pages that are there now are just a starting point. They should get you going with a number of OSGi tooling technologies. As most of the pages use a similar example it is also possible to compare the various approaches. However, there is always room for improvement. As this is an open environment feel free to contribute. If you are using a different toolset, document it! Or if you have anything to improve the descriptions add it in!

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