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From Robert Munteanu <rmunt...@adobe.com>
Subject Enhanced Apache Felix / JRebel integration
Date Thu, 29 Mar 2012 10:45:16 GMT

I am looking into enhancing the integration between Apache Felix and the JRebel [1] JVM agent.
If you're not familiar with JRebel, it's a java agent which allows classes loaded into the
JVM to be redefined as soon as they are recompiled e.g. in an IDE. For more information about
its features, see [2].

JRebel already has basic support for Apache Felix by allowing classes for a deployed bundle
to be reloaded without requiring a bundle repackage and reinstall.

What I want to contribute is support for components managed using declarative services. The
basic principle is that given a bundle which contains service components descriptors, watch
for changes to those component descriptors and refresh the components when the respective
descriptors have changed.

I have taken a quick look at both JRebel and Felix to see how an implementation should look
like. JRebel offers support for detecting class changes, but not generic filesystem changes.
Therefore I'd have to rely on Felix code ( in org.apache.felix.scr ? ) to detect

- when a bundle with component descriptors is deployed and start watching for changes to the
- when changes to the mentioned descriptors are detected refresh the components

I would like to validate that this is at all possible within Apache Felix and to ask which
are the best places to start looking for adding the JRebel functionality. Any thoughts/pointers
on how to best start developing this would be greatly appreciated.

If this is feasible, I intend to develop this as a separate JRebel plugin and contribute it
to the Apache Felix project.



[1]: http://zeroturnaround.com/jrebel/
[2]: http://zeroturnaround.com/jrebel/features/

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