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From David Jencks <>
Subject Re: Proposal to remove processing of geronimo-service.xml files in dependencies
Date Sat, 25 Dec 2004 23:09:34 GMT
OK, I'm willing to agree that recursive lists of dependencies outside a 
  plan are useful.  However, I still think it is essential that by 
perusing a plan one can immediately determine whether something is 
simply a bunch of classes or if it is or includes dependency or other 
metadata.  More comments inline.

On Dec 25, 2004, at 2:13 PM, Jeremy Boynes wrote:

> David Jencks wrote:
>> On Dec 25, 2004, at 11:50 AM, Jeremy Boynes wrote:
>>> David Jencks wrote:
>>>> I've located the code in service-builder that loads gbeans defined 
>>>> in embedded plans named geronimo-service.xml in dependencies 
>>>> referred to from gbean config plans.
>>>> I would like to remove this capability.  My experience with its 
>>>> former use to configure parts of jetty was that it successfully 
>>>> concealed from me, for weeks, how many of the gbeans were getting 
>>>> configured.  Since I prefer to be able to find configurations 
>>>> through an explicit path, I would prefer to prevent any other such 
>>>> use of this feature.
>>>> Are there any objections to my removing this capability?
>>> The intention here was to allow a service archive to declare its own 
>>> dependencies so that people did not have to try and figure it out 
>>> for themselves. For example, to use the geronimo-jetty jar I would 
>>> need to ensure that a suitable version of Jetty was available to it 
>>> - how do I know what those dependencies are?
>> At present, by looking in the plan that includes the jetty server 
>> gbean config.  This now includes all the dependencies needed to run 
>> jetty, such as the jasper components.  Can you explain how separating 
>> the list of dependencies from the gbean instance definitions would 
>> actually be helpful?  IIRC when I asked about removing the dependency 
>> list from the geronimo-jetty.jar and putting the dependencies in the 
>> plan everyone thought it was a good idea.
> That's the thing - a plan is a manifestation of an entire 
> configuration rather than being specific to just this sub-service/set 
> of components. For example, how do I know which dependencies in 
> j2ee-server-plan.xml are necessary for geronimo-jetty as opposed to 
> any of the other stuff that is in there?

Well, we could deploy the jetty server in its own plan together with 
its needed dependencies.  This is the best argument I've seen for the 
feature under discussion.
> As I remember it, the problem we were facing was that the versions in 
> the jar built by the geronimo-jetty module kept getting out of sync 
> with those used by the assembly module that was populating the repo. 
> The simple solution to that is one we have used elsewhere - to process 
> the geronimo-service.xml file with Velocity as part of the build (so 
> it includes the same versions listed in the project.xml which are 
> actually inherited from the global properties).

That would have fixed the immediate problems.
> There is a clear distinction between "class" level data - such as 
> dependencies and GBeanInfo - from "instance" level data such as 
> ObjectName (instance id) and attribute values. This is perhaps less 
> apparent with something such as the Jetty container that is typically 
> a singleton but might be clearer if you consider something like a HTTP 
> listener which may well be instantiated multiple times.

Maybe.  I believe you would want to make the additional http listeners 
children or descendants of the plan that included the jetty classes, to 
avoid possible duplicate class problems.  Therefore, you would not 
include any classes in the child plan, but get them all from the parent 
> BTW, I don't get the "everyone thought it was a good idea" meme as 
> justification for doing stuff - typically most people go with the flow 
> rather than taking the time to fully consider an issue. A democracy 
> that votes that PI equals 3 will have odd shaped wheels and a bumpy 
> ride.

True enough.  I could be remembering wrong but I thought there was some 
enthusiastic support.
>>> Another intention, which never really materialized as we went away 
>>> from XML, was to allow GBeanInfo to be declared in this file rather 
>>> than in the code - that way you could annotate the archive without 
>>> having any Geronimo references in the actual code. Remember, this 
>>> was GBeanInfo metadata describing the classes, not GBeanData 
>>> defining instances (as then the archive would be reserving specific 
>>> instance ids (names) which would lead to reuse problems). I don't 
>>> know where you GBean instances were getting defined but it should 
>>> not have been from this mechanism.
>> After some more thought I realized that only dependencies were 
>> getting included, not gbeans.
>>> I would contend that some of the confusion here stems from viewing 
>>> this as a deployment plan rather than as a definition of the GBean 
>>> types that the module provides and depends on. It could be because 
>>> the descriptor has not evolved with the rest of the architecture and 
>>> perhaps a better name would be less confusing - would gbean-info.xml 
>>> be clearer?
>>> Until we resolve issue about knowing what the nested dependencies 
>>> are I am reluctant to remove this feature - after all, if you don't 
>>> need it you don't have to use it.
>> Well, it was sort of in my way, although I can continue to support it 
>> fairly easily.
>> At the moment as far as I can tell it says nothing about what gbean 
>> types are available, and only provides a hidden way to include more 
>> dependencies.
> As I said above, the intention was to allow out-of-code declaration of 
> GBeanInfo so that you could annotate classes without having code-level 
> dependencies on Geronimo classes. Specifically, it would allow us to 
> create a GBeanInfo object for a class during deployment without having 
> to have a static block in the code; this would allow the Class to be 
> reused outside a Geronimo environment. This has no advantage for 
> Geronimo-specific implementations but a lot of benefit to projects 
> such as ActiveMQ that are looking to share component implementations 
> between container frameworks.
> At one point we had that working, but that was before we split "class" 
> metadata from "instance" data. As part of that split we kept the 
> dependency mechanism because it was useful but lost the class metadata 
> stuff because we moved all of it into static code blocks. That was 
> also before we had other projects looking at building components for 
> use in multiple containers.

I don't remember this ever working, but my memory is not the best.  
Right now (I think) you can easily gbean-ize other peoples classes 
without modifying them by, for each class you wish to gbean-ize, 
writing another that has the GBeanInfo and getGBeanInfo() methods, and 
using the name of this helper class as the gbean config "class" 
attribute value.  The helper doesn't have to extend the helpee AFAIK.
>> I still don't see any use for it, but if anyone can find one I 
>> suggest we require a different element to be used in the plan to 
>> clearly distinguish dependencies with this recursive behavior from 
>> normal jar files.
> I think dependency clearly identifies the nature of the relationship - 
> this jar file is dependent on other jars for it to work in _exactly_ 
> the same way a configuration is dependent on them. It would be better 
> to change the schema or root element to indicate more clearly that is 
> this a description of a component jar rather than an instance of a 
> configuration.

Changing the schema of the embedded list of dependencies won't help 
with my main problem with this feature, which is that, by looking at a 
plan, you can't tell if a dependency is just a jar or if it includes 
this infinitely recursive tree of dependencies.  For instance, I'd be 
much happier with something more maven-like where along with the jar 
files the repo contained something like the pom as a separate file 
listing the dependency info.  Then the dependency element could be 
something like:

or maybe for embedded geronimo-service.xml

pom is obviously a pretty bad name for this but I haven't thought of a 
better one.

Many thanks,
david jencks

> --
> Jeremy

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