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From Carsten Ziegeler <>
Subject [RT] Feature archives, launcher and Sling Starter
Date Wed, 25 Mar 2020 09:21:50 GMT

our current Sling starter project is still using the provisioning model. 
It creates a startable jar and a webapp out of it.

Moving forward we want to switch to the feature model.

We already discussed in previous discussion that supporting a webapp is 
not necessary. If demanded by users it can still be done at a later step.

Migrating from the provisioning model to the feature model is one thing 
and that's more or less straight forward.

But the more interesting question is what we do for the starter. If we 
do the same as is available today, we could build a simple maven plugin 
which basically creates a jar file containing the feature launcher, the 
OSGi framework and the features and its artifacts with some code to 
extract this and start it.

While this is very convenient - you get a single jar with everything and 
can just run it - it comes with the downside of bundling everything 
together. So using a newer launcher, a newer framework etc. always 
requires updating the Starter project.

On the other hand, we have the concept of feature archives: a zip file 
with features and its artifacts. This can be used for distributing 
features up to complete applications, like the starter. So another 
option is to just create a feature archive of the starter and then users 
can use a launcher to launch it. This is not as user friendly but makes 
it easier to update the launcher, the framework etc. And also comes with 
the bonus that its easy to add additional features to the launch.

In any case, we should probably add support to the feature launcher to 
launch feature archives directly - regardless of what we do with the 
starter. That's a minor addition to the launcher rounding up our tooling 
story about features.

Add this point I'm a little bit unsure which way to go with the starter, 
therefore asking for feedback. I'm currently leaning towards the second 
option: just creating a feature archive for the starter (which we can 
already do today)



Carsten Ziegeler
Adobe Research Switzerland

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