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From Marcel Offermans <marcel.offerm...@luminis.nl>
Subject Re: Handling of provisional OSGi API
Date Fri, 17 Sep 2010 20:41:38 GMT
On 17 Sep 2010, at 22:27 , Richard S. Hall wrote:
> On 9/17/10 12:54, Marcel Offermans wrote:
>> On 17 Sep 2010, at 21:12 , Richard S. Hall wrote:
>>> On 9/17/10 12:11, Richard S. Hall wrote:
>>>> On 9/17/10 11:36, Marcel Offermans wrote:
>>>>> On 17 Sep 2010, at 18:35 , Richard S. Hall wrote:
>>>>>> From my point of view, approach (1) might not be awesome, but it
results in a simpler process than (2). So, I'd recommend (1). If the majority prefers (2),
then we can do that (although I think we'll have to run the decision by the board first).
>>>>> I prefer (1) too.
>>>>> I could see us combine (1) with (2), releasing implementations with both
our own APIs which gives us the freedom to experiment with a new API whilst still "supporting
what's provided by public releases of draft specs.
>>>> However, this doesn't avoid the IP grey of releasing "unofficial" APIs in
our "official" releases.
>> Does the OSGi alliance disallow the inclusion of these "unofficial" APIs?
>>>> Effectively, option (2) is a hybrid approach, since we couldn't make modifications
in the provisional API unless it were available in a public spec snapshot, so any modifications
would have to be done in felix package namespace. Which sort of makes (2) the worst of both
>> Well, if the snapshots are so outdated that it does not make sense to implement them,
then we should not even try. In that case, just stick to (1).
> Sometimes it is not an issue of being out of date. If we want to implement a feature
for potential inclusion into an RFC, then we run into the same issue if we add the feature
to an existing OSGi API (whether it is provisional or not).

I think that the versioning policy that the OSGi Alliance uses leaves us little room here,
so again we should probably go to (1).

I mean, let's say that spec 1.6 is the latest stable release and there is a draft for 1.7
then there is no number in between that we could use to indicate we're past 1.6 but not yet
at 1.7.

>> I guess the other point would be for the OSGi Alliance to just develop new RFCs out
in the open, but as long as they're not, it's probably safer to ignore them if it could cause
problems otherwise.
> Well, we don't want to ignore them since we want to implement the provisional specs and
get experience with them. It is just difficult since our downstream users have no way of knowing
what is official OSGi API and what isn't if we ship with provisional and/or modified org.osgi

We can always simply not release experimental code / provisional specs, keep them in an experimental
branch if we want to still maintain an existing stable release.

> Even following option (1), it's still a tricky balancing act, especially in cases where
we might actually provide the RI, such as Gogo or CM. But this is more difficult for us since
we release early and often as opposed to Eclipse which releases yearly.

As long as we release in our own namespace, I don't see the problem. Let's say we do an experimental
release of CM. We would release it as a bundle exporting org.apache.felix.service.cm. The
only "tricky" part is that consumer bundles would have to use the packages in our namespace,
so it would probably mean they'd have to be written specifically for our implementation. But
that's probably the best way to experiment safely anyway.

Greetings, Marcel

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