Thursday, March 27, 2008

Ghost Town JCP

Is JSR 277 a ghost JSR or did the work move elsewhere? The last message on the JSR 277 mailing list was more than a month ago and before that traffic was virtually absent. Since June there is about a message per month on average, of which several are house keeping messages. Even Stanley Ho's blog has not seen a new entry since June. Did the discussions move to the Open JDK process? Looking at the modules-discuss archives, this does not seem to be the case. There is very little activity and the mails that I can read are about builds, and requests for information. The modules-dev list contains nightly build reports, the last one is from Sunday March 2. It therefore seems that work is going on, however, it seems hard to believe that there are no issues to discuss in this phase of the project. I assume that the people working in OpenJDK have another (closed?) mailing list where they discuss issues.

The problem with free organizations (as in free beer) the cost are carried by one party that in exchange demands special rights. For example, the OpenJDK projects is mostly paid for by Sun, just like the JCP. However, the consequence is that if you submit a source code, you must grant Sun a perpetual and full license, with the rights to sub license, for all your code.Though the OpenJDK is available under the GPL license, this choice of license is a Sun decision. You can not submit your code as GPL to the OpenJDK project, the GPL is a license granted by Sun to its users. You therefore have to sign the Sun Contribution Agreement. In this contract you oblige yourself to

  • Share your copyrights with Sun

  • License any patents bearing on your contributions to Sun

They key is now that Sun provides the OpenJDK to anyone under GPL and parts of it with the Classpath exception that allows you to run code on it. However, for many companies this is too restrictive because they have special patents they are not willing to share or can not share their source code for other reasons. Obviously, Sun is willing to provide the OpenJDK under an an alternate license for an appropriate fee, or not. It is their call.

If you do serious work in the JCP or OpenJDK, it is highly likely that the value of your donation to Sun significantly exceeds any membership fees of any open organizations.

When I started using Java in 1996 I had a lot of confidence in Sun because I always thought that the way they handled the standardization of NFS in an exemplary way. I still do believe that most people working for Sun have the best intentions. However, for the good of the community the shepherd should not be one of the sheep.

Zucht (Sigh in Dutch). Another blog side tracked about non-technical issues. I wish we could focus on the technical issues so we can show why and how the OSGi service platform is more ambitious and provides more and superior solutions for the modularity problem than JSR 277+294. It feels so sad that instead on working together on a suitable standard, Sun, against a lot of industry pressure, bifurcates the market for no technical reason. I do not claim the OSGi specs are perfect, there is work to do. However, they are mature, proven, have a large audience, and seem to provide more functionality than JSR 277 attempts to implement now (with a large learning curve ahead of them). Would such a situation have arisen when the Java community was shepherded in an more independent way?

Peter Kriens

P.S. I just learned that Neil Bartlett had the same idea and also posted a blog about the same subject ...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

OSGi DevCon, Here We Still Are!

Sorry for not updating yesterday, but it is kind of hectic here. It seems almost impossible to walk more than 100ft without being asked a question about OSGi. But hey! That is a lot better than desperately getting people's attention. But it makes it kind of hard to update a blog.

Anyway, yesterday we had a full program with lots of OSGi talks. Though I must admit the keynote was very entertaining, even without OSGi. The keynote was given by Dan Lyons (Fake Steve Jobs). Well, I let the pictures do the talking again.

BJ Hargrave (IBM) and Neil Bartlett in their Android for OSGi presentation

Christer Larsson and Eric Wistrand from Makewave working hard to get it to work.

Marcel Offermans and Karl Pauls from Luminis making sure BJ and Neil got it right.

Yesterday evening we had an OSGi BOF, with drinks. There were quite a lot of people and everybody seems to have a good time.

Well, today we had the Bug Labs presentation (cool hardware!) and the Virtual OSGi presentation from Jan Rellermeyer (which has recently become our second Invited Researcher next to Richard Hall).

Sprint, ProSyst, and IBM presented the Sprint Titan program, which uses the OSGi framework in the incarnation of JSR 232, as a cornerstone. These phones support an amazing amount of standards. The Titan platform will become a very interesting platform, the first that will allow you to write code that runs in binary form on a phone, desktop, server, and mainframe.

I did not get a chance to to visit all session, unfortunately. There is so much going on at the same time. One thing that was very nice today, btw, was that I had a meeting with some of the Jason van Zijl, Eugene Kuleshov, Carlos Sanchez, and Jeff McAffer and we discussed aligning the mapping of the Bundle Symbolic Name and version issues. Watch this space.

Tomorrow we will have the services versus extensions panel. This morning we met and it looks like it will be an interesting panel. Lots of people are interested in this subject.

Wish you were here!

Peter Kriens

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

OSGi DevCon, Here We Are

We are getting ready for the second day of the conference. Yesterday, was (free!) tutorial day and the program was packed. I ran between tutorials to take pictures and see how things are going. The OSGi tutorials were very well attended and in several rooms there were not enough places. Anyway, let the pictures do the talking.

All pictures can be found at: Flickr.

So the real conference starts today with the keynote of Fake Steve Jobs. Then the short talks, Android, Services & DI & Extension points, Android, Building large applications and the BOF. And so much more where OSGi is involved. Last year, OSGi was a buzz, this year it feels like a roar!

So if you are at OSGi DevCon/EclipseCon do not forget to come to the BOF at 7.30 pm. It would be great to meet you all. Ok, off to breakfast and a great day ...

Peter Kriens

OSGi DevCon, Here We Come!

Today, March 17, we are starting the OSGi DevCon. This year has a tremendous amount of events devoted to OSGi. The program has a special icon for OSGi events (thank you!) and it is littered over the schedule.

Today is tutorial day and for the first time the tutorials are free. Select your tutorials carefully, though it is likely many will be full. I wanted to give you an overview but the OSGi talks are marked so well on the program that I just give you the link to the Monday tutorials overview.

The first sessions have started and we have some photos fresh from the event.

Peter Kriens