Thursday, September 29, 2016

InfoQ: A comparison of OSGi and the Java 9 Java Platform Module System

In Java 9, OSGi and the Future of Modularity, Neil Bartlett and Kai Hackbarth provide part 1 of an excellent comparison of OSGi modularity and the current state of Java 9's Java Platform Module System (JPMS) modularity.
One of the most common complaints about OSGi is that it can increase complexity for a developer. There is a grain of truth here, but people who make this complaint are mistaking the medicine for the disease.
Modularity is not a magic dust that can be sprinkled onto an application just before release. It is a discipline that must be followed throughout all phases of design and development. Developers who adopt OSGi early and apply modular thinking before writing a line of code realise enormous gains[...]
Project Jigsaw started with a goal of being simple, but the JPMS specification has increased enormously in complexity: the interplay of modules with class loaders; hierarchical layers and configurations; re-exporting requirements; weak modules; static requirements; qualified exports; dynamic exports; inherited readability across layers; multi-module JARs; automatic modules; unnamed modules… all these features have been added as the need for them became clear. A similar process happened in OSGi, just with a 16-year head start.
The article is well written and provides a clear understanding of the differences between OSGi and JPMS as it stands today. Looking forward to part 2.

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