Componentization wars part II – Guerrilla tactics

Usually when I am blogging, I am talking about the latest technology, standards or general trends. This time however, I wonna talk about politics. No, not about the elections in US, but about politics in software development practiced by the big players to achieve their business goals. Don’t get me wrong from the start. I think this is completely normal in general. We all are trying to achieve our goals the one way or the other, but something just doesn’t feel right…

Yesterday I read about the latest news concerning Sun’s plans about the future of JSR 277, JSR 294 and its new plans on inventing componentization for its JVM called Jigsaw. I hate to say it, but for me, it seems like Sun behaves like a small child trying to insist to be the one driving all development and not letting someone else play with its toys. It’s anything but the behavior of a well establish and industry leading company or one who wants to become one. First they completely ignored the problem of componentization in Java while persuing enterprise development with J(2)EE and missed their chance to actually set the foundation for real software reuse what you would expect from and enterprise ready language specification. Later, when OSGi began to rise they started the JSR 277 and tried to create a competing standard in secret, which didn’t work out too well as we all know. Now, because of the pressure of the community and the lack of showing a better solution they are abandoning the JSR and start developing their own “internal” componentization approach with the Jigsaw project. Of course they are claiming it is not intended to be used outside their own use case for componentizing the JVM, but it is hard for me to believe this. Call me paranoid, but for me it sounds much more like an attempt to develop another system, which after completion is suddenly moved into an official standard. Sun’s statement that they are going to revive JSR 294 and are inviting even the OSGi Alliance to participate to work on it feels more like a distraction so that Sun is able to pursue its plans with Jigsaw in private that without public notice they suddenly can come up with a self made de-facto standard. Again, I might be to paranoid, but it just doesn’t feel right. Is all that just a coincident? I don’t think so. Why can’t they embrace the work done already and see it as a great chance to propel their Language and create a true reusable software stack, no other vendor can offer? Hal Hildebrand just blogged about Sun’s attempt to introduce this new project and the way they are trying to persuade big industry players about their great intents… Well, you should really read his post about it and please tell me, if they have such humble goals, why does everyone they consult have to sign a NDA? I strongly believe that if those ideas are so great, why not share them and let the community decide and participate?

To wrap things up, I ask all of you who feel like me, share you’re opinion! Comment on Hal’s post, blog about it, link to it, spread the word. I believe we – as a community – have to stand up and say what we think to show Sun, that those kind of guerrilla tactics, especially when so easily to look through are not working. Keep your eyes open and don’t fall for the dark side ;-)



4 thoughts on “Componentization wars part II – Guerrilla tactics

  1. Well, I don’t trust OSGI anymore since I leaved Eclipse for Netbeans because of module dependencies problems.

    perhaps osgi has evolved in the last year but the fact is I dont trust it enough to use it, netbeans uses a different approach which never showed me any dependencies problems, in fact I even build my applications on netbeans rcp with it’s module management.

    I’m not saying Eclipse/OSGI is bad, and not saying netbeans/Sun is right.

    What I see is that eclipse became the most used IDE and dragged with him new tecchnologies like SWT,OSGI, … and now try to impose them as a de-facto standard. I dont really like this, having the biggest community doesnt mean you have the best solution.

    You say Sun is like a “small child” and uses “guerrilla tactics” and also “Keep your eyes open and don’t fall for the dark side”.

    What’s this ? the good OSGI against the evil Sun ?
    You don’t show any reasons, you just say “I’m right, they are wrong”.

    It’s not with your help that this problem will be solved.

  2. Eclesia, you’re right. Just because everyone is using a certain technology, it doesn’t mean it is perfect or just the best on the market. Very often there are more factors involved. I personally prefer Eclipse over NetBeans in most, but not all areas. I’m using both and decide on a case to case basis. What ever fits better to my current needs wins.
    Concerning my critique on Sun and it’s practices, you got me a little wrong. I’m not seeing it black and white: “One is evil, while the other one is good.”
    OSGi, especially the spec creation process happens behind closed doors, well except you are a paying member. This, as you can imagine, isn’t the best thing in my opinion, but things have changed and we now get drafts of the latest versions. the OSGi even went through the JCP and standardized OSGi in the JSR 291, where everyone was invited to critique and improve the spec, but only a few did with more minor changes (good ones, but still minor). This kind of behavior/attitude is what we need. Go out, ask the community what is wrong or what can be improved and then find a consensus. Not create something in secret and just tell us this is how it is – eat it or leave it. It’s the attitude that’s important here. Everything else falls into part as soon as bright people really start talking and sharing their ideas. I am a strong believer in open discussions, so in my humble opinion, that’s what is Sun missing most.

    You’re claiming, I am saying, “I’m right, they are wrong” and I am not helping. Well, still not sure where I am right, because I didn’t make a any claim, but I am saying that the secret way Sun is pursuing is counter productive. As a good citizen of the community, I am trying to talk about problems, solutions, experiences and news in my blog. I am trying to share and help others to get inspired, amused or just find the solution they are looking for. Sure, me alone, I can’t solve the problem I was discussing in my post, but I am trying to play my part/ my role and contribute with the tools I have at hand.


    Btw.: Eclipse != OSGi. The Eclipse guys are very hard trying to adopt the OSGi architecture/ideas, but still have a long way to go! (f.i. uninstall, services, life updates…)

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