Sunday, February 11, 2007

OSGi - the miniseries

Over the past few days, Neil Bartlett has published three installments in his OSGi tutorial series:
  1. Getting started with OSGi: Your first bundle
  2. Getting started with OSGi: Interacting with the Framework
  3. A Comparison of Eclipse extensions and OSGi services
With M5 behind us, I finally had time to read the miniseries. Here is my review:
"Bartlett's OSGi miniseries is the best miniseries since Alex Haley's Roots!"

I encourage every developer to make some time to read these articles. They are a great read and you will learn a lot. The third one in the series is my favourite so far.

By comparison, if you had spent three hours watching the Grammys on Sunday night, the only life lesson you would have learned is that "Hips don't lie" :)

Unfortunately, Neil's excellent series is hosted on EclipseZone, so you will most likely be greeted with a Netbeans ad at the top of the page when you go read it.

When will this madness stop? Is it hurting Eclipse? No. But it is certainly not helping either.


Neil Bartlett said...

Thanks Wassim!

BTW the "extensions vs services" article is not really part of the tutorial series, but I'm glad you liked it anyway.

As for the NetBeans banners... look at it this way, they're taking Sun's marketing dollars to support a website that promotes Eclipse. So it does help Eclipse!

Wassim Melhem said...

Neil, thanks for the banner rationalization.

I think I am beginning to appreciate the humour in it :)

Neil Bartlett said...

Actually, think about it like this. You're on holiday in a nice resort town which has three big hotels. The best one is the Hotel Excellente, which is where you are staying.

The Excellente isn't perfect. There's the occasional dripping tap or stuck window. But if you let somebody know then it gets fixed pretty quickly.

The best thing about the Excellente though is the atmosphere. There's a real sense of community, and everybody likes to help out. In fact the guy who fixed your dripping tap didn't even work for the hotel -- he was just another guest who loves the hotel and wants you to love it too.

Across the street there's the Hotel NotBad. It's much smaller, but it's also fairly nice and you hear they have a good community there as well. The only odd thing about the NotBad is that there are no windows! The guests at the NotBad all know that the Excellente is right across the street, but the management would prefer them not to see it. On the other hand the Excellente doesn't mind letting the NotBad leave flyers around in their lobby, because they believe that people should be allowed to make their own choice.

Still, I'd much rather be staying at either the Excellente or the NotBad than that big place on the other side of town, the Viceroy Studios. Oh, it's a fancy looking place, but I hear that the management keeps telling the guests what to do. For example, you can only go on excursions arranged by the hotel. And if you don't like the food on the restaurant menu, you just have to go hungry!

So, lets all be nice to folks staying over at the NotBad, because together we might be able to rescue a few poor souls from the VS :-)

AlBlue said...


I'm disappointed that you choose to use the phrase "Unfortunately ... is hosted on EclipseZone". We try to provide interesting and relevant posts in the Eclipse community, and look to provde both news and informative articles that will be useful to many people.

Unfortunately, we are not a site that is hosted by a large blue organisation but rather live off of the advertisments that are paid for by sponsors, both for the fortnightly newsletter and on the site. Were this revenue to dry up, so would the site.

Think of it this way: Sun, through their advertising revenue for NetBeans, are paying towards the existence of the EclipseZone site. So even if Sun aren't formally interested in Eclipse, they are helping to sustain the commuinity.

Alex Blewitt, Editor, EclipseZone.

Wassim Melhem said...


I am no media mogul and I am not sure how a community site like EclipseZone is run, but I suspect (and I hope) that it would survive if it lost Sun as one of its sponsors.

I cannot sympathize with this whole argument of 'we will advertise for anybody who will pay us money because we have no blue sponsor' because, in this case, these ads are clearly crossing a line. Where do you draw the line? Does anything go?

CNN, for example, was strapped for cash a few years ago, but I don't recall them running FoxNews ads and saying 'well, you do what you have to do."

I am sure EclipseZone reserves the right to refuse advertising for anyone, so as the EclipseZone editor, would you be able to put a stop to these ads if you wanted to?

How much pull do you actually have?

Wayne said...

>I'm disappointed that you choose to
>use the phrase "Unfortunately ... is
>hosted on EclipseZone". We try to
>provide interesting and relevant
>posts in the Eclipse community, and
>look to provde both news and
>informative articles that will be
>useful to many people.

FWIW, I chose to read this as a tongue-in-cheek comment, rather than a particularly negative sentiment. I don't think that Wassim was trying to call into question your fine work, he was merely expressing dismay at the ads. At least that's how I saw it.

I'm a little disappointed, Alex, that you would allude to the Eclipse site being hosted by "big blue". It's not. It's hosted by the Eclipse Foundation.

The Eclipse Foundation is funded by numerous member organizations which includes IBM and many, many, many, others.

AlBlue said...

I did not say that was hosted by IBM. However, IBM is one of the members (and funders) of the Eclipse Foundation; and they employ Wassim.

My point is that everyone needs to make a living; and that neither nor have a free money supply that keeps them up and running. The funding happens to come from somewhere.

In EclipseZone's case, we're paid by advertisers. In the Eclipse Foundation's case, they're paid by membership fees of members as well as time for employees of those membership organisations. Both have to be commercial to succeed. And commercial decisions have to be based on what's good for the organisation.

So, whilst the Eclipse Foundation (and your salary) is not funded by IBM directly, it is indirectly -- as well as all of the other member organisations. That's as true as saying that indirectly EclipseZone are being funded by the NetBeans marketing team.

I am not trying to spread FUD about Eclipse == IBM, because it's not. However, you can trace the money back to the current members of the Eclipse foundation.