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Re: [rtp-dev] Virgo / Equinox / RT / RTP => confusion

Hi Pascal,
thanks for writing to this mailing list. Please see my comments below:

On 01.04.2011, at 02:18, Pascal Rapicault wrote:

Hi there, 

I wanted to share with you some of my impressions from EclipseCon wrt various runtime technologies esp. the OSGi based servers.
I'm sending this note in hope to start a discussion and provide some directions / ideas.

To start bluntly, the main impression that revolves around all these OSGi based server technologies is "confusion". This became clear to me when hearing the question from an attendee of the Karaf talk (it was after we had the RT BOF). The question was "there is Karaf, Virgo, Aries, the RT Packages, etc..., how do I know which one to start from, what is the difference, pros / cons"? 

Confusion is the right word I guess. Anyway, from my personal point of view the answer is "use the RT Packages". If a user want to get started, using these packages are probably the easiest way because they don't introduce own concepts like Virgo and so on. I also have to say, that the only purpose of these packages is to make new users happy. If it comes to a production deployment they are probably the wring choice.

The following question aim at pointing out things that may be confusing and explore ways we can help users.
- First does the creation of the RT packages really help?
- On one side, yes, because it eases the consumption of pieces and provides interesting starting points. But on the other, it just adds more artificial players to the field. 
- How many more packages are we going to create? How many combination are we really going to provide?

In the RTP BoF we pointed out some good ideas regarding this topic. Tomorrow I will hopefully be able to present these ideas to the mailing list. 

- What is what, how do I compare packages?
- At this point we have two packages and from what I gathered this will be growing. However when I look at the description of each package it is not very clear what is what, and why I should start with this package rather than this other one. I think it could help to have a feature matrix showing what is included in which package, but probably even more importantly, a short explanation justifying why a user would pick a package. If we can't justify why some packages exist, maybe we don't need them :)

Absolutely. First we concentrated to set up the infrastructure and I quickly created the website and so on. A better description will follow for sure. It's only a matter of time. but we will have a good site for Indigo.

- Should package be named?
- Packages go with rather long, boring, and not enough descriptive names ("EclipseRTP Basic Package", "EclipseRTP Web Package") that are hard to remember and mention in a conversation. When I look at other technologies, they have short snappy names (e.g. Virgo, Karaf, Aries). I think we would do well to have such names for our packages. And maybe we can have variations around these names (e.g. maybe there is "Taurus" package with S / M / L / XL / XXL variants).

I don't like these S /M ... variants. But a more descirptive name would be really nice. Anyway, I think this will go hand in hand with writing the descriptions. Do you have any other naming suggestions?

- Does promoting RTP as "a thing" help?
- I have the impression that we are promoting RTP as "a thing", when it is not. I don't go and try to get the RTP download, I go and get the "EclipseRTP Basic Package". To draw a parallel, Eclipse users don't know that there is a thing called EPP, they go and get "Eclipse Java developer", "Eclipse for PHP", etc. I don't want to diminish the value of the RTP project, but I just don't see the point of calling out its existence.

No, it does not help. This was simply a mistake made by me. I opened bug 341739 for it (https://bugs.eclipse.org/bugs/show_bug.cgi?id=341739).

- A central download page
- The RTP download page only includes the EclipseRTP packages and I don't think this helps. After all, if the goal is to facilitate the consumption of runtimes technologies, then why would not we put Virgo on this page? In fact to go even further, I'm tempted to think that the RT download page should be a rebranded version of the RTP download page, much like you don't go to the EPP download page but to http://www.eclipse.org/downloads/

We discussed this with Ian Skerret at EclipseCon. As you may know, Markus (EPP lead), is also an RTP Committer. The thing is, that the foundation decides which content goes to the eclipse download page. I think we can add at least one rt package to this page. I don't think it would help to put Virgo or any other RT download on the rtp page because form my point of view this would increase confusion. Maybe the rt page is the right home for it, what do you think?

This is it for today :)

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It's really good to see that you care about this topic. 

Regards Holger

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Holger Staudacher

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