Saturday, October 15, 2011

Another bndtools Hackathon

The house feels rather silent after 4 days of intense hacking on bndtools with PK Sörelde, Neil Bartlett, Joakim, Stuart McCulloch, David Savage (remote from the UK), and Ferry Huberts here in my house. We closed a lot of bugs and we (well almost) reached our goal to run bndtools on the OSGi build faster than anything else. Then again, maybe I should say we reached our goal since Neil just informed me with Skype from an English bus that he was now really close.

Neil Bartlett started already quite some time ago to create the ultimate OSGi IDE based on Eclipse. Since he was using bnd to do the low level building I convinced him to also use the more advanced build features in bnd, which resulted in a fruitful collaboration. This brought ComActivity into the game. A couple of years ago they hired me as a consultant to help them with their OSGi work. At that time we used bnd as an Eclipse plugin to do the build. Last year they switched to bndtools since it has a much more extensive GUI. PK Sörelde from ComActivity even contributed the version release management tool. With over an increasing number of listeners on the bndtools list we were getting in an area that bndtools needed to become rock solid stable so it could be used by more people. Two weeks ago PK proposed to do an intense round of finalizing open issues and I gladly offered my house.

We also had Stuart McCulloch from Sonatype here to help us out with maven. Since maven is quite popular as an OSGi build tool with the maven bundle plugin, which is based on bnd, collaborating is quite natural. Initially we wanted to do the complete build in bndtools but after brainstorming we found out that we could use the m2-eclipse plugin quite elegantly for building, leaving the bundle development (coding, manifest, debugging, etc) to bndtools. Using m2-eclipse will give us full fidelity with the offline and IDE build.

The coming week we will test the heck out of bnd and bndtools and hope to release a rock solid fast new version next week.

So lots of bugs closed, lots of fun (the weather was fantastic!), interesting discussions, good food, lots of plans, and a very nice result.

Peter Kriens

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