Wednesday, April 8, 2009

OSGi and Eclipse Make Me Smile

So, I finally did it.  After some preliminary research and a bit of procrastinating, I went all in and began to adopt the newfangled OSGi approach.  Er, maybe not so new, but new to me.

Surprisingly, everything now seems to just ... work.  After months of toiling with Eclipse trying to ensure that my classpath settings were right, and dreading every completely updating as I knew my classpath would be shredded to bits by a co-worker, the combination of some built-in plug-in development tools from Eclipse and some knowledge of OSGi have brought me to tears ... of joy.  

Anyway, a while back, somewhere between the research and procrastination, I came across a very helpful presentation that got my feet wet, and I'd recommend as a nice starting point for newcomers:

The conversion of my projects from the traditional monolithic project to the multiple modules approach was not initially fun.  I'd actually compare it to the transition from creating verb-based Web Services to RESTful Web Services, to a degree.  The presenation below goes into more detail on things related to that.

So, tying this all into Eclipse: if you've got a fresh version, a lot of the work is done for you via the Plug-in Development Tools!  Simply take the time to appropriately fill out your Manifest information for your bundles (er, plug-in projects), create an Application using said bundles (again, it's built-in), and you're off to the races!  And one thing you've got to appreciate is work already done for you!


Anyway, you can of course find Eclipse-related resources on their site, which has treated me pretty well in regard to finding information I'm looking for.  But the links above were particularly helpful for me to start from scratch and sink my teeth into OSGi.  Hope you find them useful, and feel free to submit your own references!

Carl Scott
Software Developer, Solertium Corporation
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