Monday, January 5, 2009

Project Jigsaw #3: Multiple Module Systems

One of the strategic aspects of project Jigsaw is to allow multiple module systems. In Alex's presentation it is suggested that there will be a "simple" module system for the JDK, which is also usable for developers. However, it is envisioned that it will have a provider model that will allow others to provide their own favorite module system. Examples given are maven and OSGi. This is in line with the general philosophy of Java to allow multiple implementations.

In general this is a very good philosophy in general because it promotes competition, which results in more and therefore better choices for the user. However, in the case of a module system it will do the opposite: it will stifle competition, which will cause less choice and therefore worse solutions. The reason for this effect is that a module system is the conduit for the market of implementations.

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