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The first two days of OSGiCon at EclipseCon

03.19.2008
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After having been to the OSGi developers world conference in 2005, where I presented the dependency manager that is now part of Apache Felix, in 2008 Karl Pauls and I are back at OSGiCon which has since merged with EclipseCon and has become quite a big event.

Hosted in Santa Clara, California, the event lasts for four days and whilst a lot of content is somehow related to Eclipse, there are a lot of interesting talks and workshops about OSGi in general. In fact, on the first day, Karl and I did a workshop on building secure OSGi applications as part of that OSGi track.

To quote some of the speakers in the OSGi track at EclipseCon, two years ago, OSGi was a rumour, last year it was a buzz and now it's all over the place. This is of course obvious from announcements like Equinox becoming a top level project and the great attendance of the OSGi related sessions.

Monday, we spent most of our time actually preparing and giving our tutorial on Building Secure OSGi Applications. For a very technical and complicated subject, we had a a fair number of people showing up. Throughout the session, people had lots of opportunities to do hands-on stuff while we explained all the different security features in OSGi. Judging from the questions and the feedback we got afterwards, we think we did a decent job of getting people started with OSGi security. One of the participants, Wayne Beaton, wrote this nice blog about the session.

After our session, we caught up with the Buglabs people. They're running Concierge on a small, embedded device that contains some very nice click-on components like camera's, accelerometers, etc.

Tuesday started out with a keynote by the author of the Fake Steve Jobs blog, Dan Lyons. His talk was highly entertaining with the occasional serious remark. If you don't know his blog yet, you should check it out.

After the keynote, the long and short talks started. One of the highlights of the day was a talk about Android and OSGi, by BJ Hargrave and Neil Bartlett. They explained their journey of getting Android to run on Concierge and Equinox, based on the initial effort Karl and I did for Apache Felix. With the recent announcement of Prosyst, who got it running on their OSGi implementation too, we now have at least four frameworks with Android support. It will actually be interesting to see if Google will support dynamic classloading with a formal API in the future, so OSGi can more formally be supported on the Dalvik VM.

In the evening, the OSGi BOF was held. The big announcement there was the new membership model that is being worked on. That will allow more smaller companies and individuals to contribute. We discussed distributed aspects of OSGi as part of the efforts of the enterprise expert group, the recent revival of the residential expert group and the next OSGi event in Berlin.

In summary, the first two days were great. We're half way now, with lots of interesting sessions still to come!

Published at DZone with permission of its author, Marcel Offermans.

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