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Re: [equinox-dev] Equinox summary and direction

I'm particularly interested in the work on declarative and dynamic 
services, so please keep me in the loop on these.


Jeff McAffer/Ottawa/IBM@IBMCA 
Sent by: equinox-dev-admin@xxxxxxxxxxx
07/07/2004 11:47 PM
Please respond to


[equinox-dev] Equinox summary and direction

First, thanks to everyone who has worked so hard on Equinox over the past 
year and a bit.  The project has been an unqualified success.  The main 
task was to identify and prototype an alternative runtime for Eclipse 
which offered standardization, dynamic behaviour and security.  OSGi fits 
the bill on all fronts and perhaps more importantly, we have found it fits 
well under Eclipse.  So well in fact that the code developed in Equinox 
has been adopted by the main Eclipse project and was just shipped with 
Eclipse R3.0.  Congratulations! 

The Equinox project has been a bit of a test case approach for incubating 
new technology for use in the Eclipse platform.  It has had a secondary 
role as a path for others to get involved in Eclipse and ultimately gain 
commit rights.  Again here the project has succeeded with four of the OSGi 
code contributors now being full Eclipse committers in the Platform Core 
component.  I would not be surprised to see further incubator projects 
spring up. 

We could stop here and be quite satisfied.  I believe there is more to do 
however.  While the details are somewhat fluid, the current direction is 
to continue Equinox as a place to explore new runtime related technologies 
that we expect to, if successful, directly impact the Eclipse Platform 
proper.  These should be items whichAn incomplete, randomly ordered list 

- Security: This include understanding the impact of running with Java 2 
security enabled as well as approaches to and facilities for application 
level security (e.g, authentication, ACLs, ...) 

- Scalability: Technology that helps Eclipse scale up to more effeciently 
handle 1000s of plugins as well scale down to smaller platforms and 
reduced functionality scenarios.  Examples include declarative service 
specification and framework/runtime refactoring. 

- Support for dynamic behaviour and services programming:  The runtime 
fully supports the dynamic coming and going of plugins but it is clear 
that this support is challenging to put in place.  We need higher level 
abstractions, mechanisms and best practices for handling the changing 

Some of this work may well happen in the main Eclipse repository.  What 
work gets done in the Equinox vs Eclipse repos largely depends on a) how 
speculative the work is and b) who is doing the work.  We intend to remain 
as flexible as possible in this area. 

Since the bulk of the work items have been complete the project resources 
(CVS, Bugzilla, ...) should be cleaned up and prepared for new work.  In 
- repopulate the repository with the Eclipse R3.0 code as required (note 
that this should be done in a different directory structure under the 
org.eclipse.equinox folder to reduce confusion) 

- move the Equinox bugs to a to be created Platform Runtime component (the 
exact details are being ironed out) 

- scrub the committer list.  Over the past year+ we added a number of 
committers to look at specific work items or areas.  For the most part, 
these items are complete and the committers are no longer active.  The 
committer list will be reduced to include only those making commitments to 
work on items with specific plans.  The committer list was always intended 
to be quite dynamic both in additions and deletions.  Removal from the 
list now in no way prohibits subsequent readdition.  I will discuss their 
status with each committer over the next few days. 

- scrub the website. The website was at best sporatically maintained.  The 
result is an obsolete and rather incoherent mass of content.  Over the 
next few days I will version off and clean up the site and unlink or 
delete stale content.  Note that everything is in CVS so nothing is ever 
deleted for real.  Going forward we should have a plan for how to evolve 
the site content in a more coherent way.  Your suggestions are most 

Let me know if something has been missed or you have any questions or 
concerns in this area. 

Again, thanks to everyone for the hard work.  We have definitely left 
Eclipse better than we found it.