Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Letter to our OSGi User Community RE: the Java Platform Module System (JPMS)



Letter to the OSGi User Community:

With the JCP Executive Committee’s acceptance of JSR 376, the Java Platform Module System (JPMS) will be included in the Java SE 9 release. The OSGi Alliance has recently completed an analysis of JPMS and what it means for our user community.

We recognize that many of you have invested in OSGi technology over a number of years and have business-critical systems that rely on OSGi, so you may question if and how Java SE 9 may impact you. Please be assured that OSGi will continue to operate with its full capabilities on top of the new Java SE 9 platform.

However, the modularity capabilities in OSGi and JPMS are not the same. Our modularity experience, earned through the evolution of OSGi, has proven there are specific requirements in modularizing an application that is assembled with code from multiple sources, which have independent release cycles. Given these requirements, JPMS is not suitable for most real-world applications and we therefore caution against the use of JPMS for the application layer.

As you know, the modularization of an application, where code and dependencies are pulled from many independently created sources, presents a different set of challenges than those faced in the modularization of a defined and closely managed platform. This difference is especially true when the entire code base is managed by a single entity and released all at once, like the Java platform.

For more than 15 years, OSGi has proven successful in modularizing user applications by using dynamic resolution and semantic versioning, as well as supporting isolation, multiple class loaders and dependency injection. With its goal of modularizing the platform, JPMS has been able to rely upon static dependency resolution and ignore versioning, deferring responsibility for versioning to others.

Clearly, both OSGi and JPMS will co-exist and effectively operate in this application/platform demarcated environment. The modularization of the Java platform with Java SE 9 is a significant step forward for Java as a whole, and OSGi technology’s role in application-level modularization is as important today as it has been for previous releases of Java.

If you have any technical questions, please post them to osgi-dev@mail.osgi.org or, if you prefer an off-list inquiry, email modularity@osgi.org.

Sincerely,
Dan Bandera
President
OSGi Alliance

Java is registered trademark of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners. OSGi is a trademark or a registered trademark of the OSGi Alliance in the United States, other countries, or both.

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