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From Jason Porter <>
Subject CDI XML Config
Date Thu, 17 Jan 2013 17:19:52 GMT
There have been some interesting developments with regards to the need of
an XML configuration utility for CDI. Naturally we feel DeltaSpike is the
correct location for this. I'll go into some of the history of CDI XML
Configuration and other ideas that have come up within Red Hat and also the
Fuse community, lastly we will propose an idea for the DeltaSpike project.

=== History

The CDI specification (JSR 299 public draft) initially had the requirements
of an XML configuration similar to what Spring has. This was later dropped
in future versions of the specification in exchange for Portable
Extensions. One of the first things Seam 3 completed back in 2009 was an
implementation of the dropped XML configuration as a CDI extension,
unfortunately it wasn't fully portable, but that's water under the bridge.
Primarily this was used to configure and include archives that did not
contain a beans.xml file and were not picked up by CDI.  There were also
some uses later in Seam 3 that required the use of the XML configuration,
namely early releases of Seam Security.

To my knowledge it didn't see a lot of use besides Seam Security, unless
people simply didn't talk about it. There were very few questions about it
on the Seam forums outside of configuring Seam Security. The XML
configuration was later moved into Solder as it was viewed as something
core that many people could / would use. Fast forward a bit to DeltaSpike.
It was originally discussed as an important part to add to DeltaSpike,
however, it hasn't been added yet and various discussions have happened
since about what is exactly needed. It was eventually discussed to port
what was in Seam 3 and add in the ability to apply some CDI concepts, such
as interceptors, to many classes at once by use of a regular expression in
the XML configuration. Other discussions have happened outside of
DeltaSpike seeking an XML configuration for CDI.

=== Discussions with Drools and Fuse

The Drools developers would like to use CDI, but need the ability to allow
users to configure things via XML similar to the Spring support that
currently exists within Drools. Seam 3's XML Configuration was seen as a
good means of achieving this, but with Seam 3 no longer in development and
DeltaSpike lacking the XML Configuration this hasn't happened yet. It's
still a desired feature.  Ideally the same configuration file could be used
to configure both Spring and CDI, easing migration, and using something
familiar to current users.

The Fuse community currently integrates with Spring and OSGi using an XML
configuration file. They're seeking a way to do a similar integration and
configuration with CDI. The OSGi integration is done with OSGi Blueprint
XML, which is very similar to Spring XML.

=== Proposed idea

Looking at the existing implementation of the CDI Configuration (Seam XML
Configuration) and the OSGi Blueprint schema, both align fairly well. It's
not a 100% alignment, but they overlap in many areas. The Spring XML
configuration also overlaps in areas. I propose we create an XML
Configuration module in DeltaSpike that will make use of the standard CDI
metadata classes to hold and configure Beans and AnnotatedTypes and add
them to the CDI lifecycle.  This solution would also allow for a
configurable and pluggable parser to map the various XML configurations to
the CDI metadata. A user could create their parser and configure DeltaSpike
to use it via standard DeltaSpike configuration. We propose that within the
DeltaSpike project a native CDI parser (like what was proposed in the spec)
and a Blueprint XML parser be available to users.

Jason Porter

Software Engineer
Open Source Advocate

PGP key id: 926CCFF5
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