SpringSource Donates Code To Eclipse Foundation - InformationWeek

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1/19/2010
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SpringSource Donates Code To Eclipse Foundation

The Eclipse Foundation hopes to jump start its effort to achieve an OSGi-based application server by using code from VMware's Springsource.

VMware's SpringSource unit has contributed its runtime application server to the Eclipse Foundation to give it a piece of runtime OSGi-based technology.

Eclipse is seeking to become a runtime environment as well as a programmer's workbench development environment. SpringSource, founded by Rod Johnson, is the commercial company behind the Spring Framework, which provides a lighter-weight way to develop Java applications and is widely used in the Java community for its programming assists.

The OSGi Alliance is a non-profit vendor alliance established in 1999 that sets specifications for how software objects may interact with each other, whether on the same server or remote from each other. Greater ease of operation is needed by Java and other object-oriented language developers in order for them to better compete with the integration inherent in the Microsoft .Net platform. The OSGi model allows code to be developed as independent modules, then specifies how they should interact.

By accepting the dm Server and using it as the basis for a Virgo open source development project, the Eclipse Foundation will jump start its effort to achieve an OSGi-based application server, said Adam Fitzgerald, SpringSource's director of developer relations, in an interview. The move comes as dm Server reached the piont of its 2.0 Version release.

The contribution will also move dm Server from a GPL Version 3.0-based piece of open source code to one under the Eclipse Public License, which allows wider latitude for the code to be incorporated into commercial products, without the supplier of the product having to disclose the source code in the non-Eclipse portions.

Fitzgerald said dm Server is likely to develop faster and become useful in more environments if SpringSoruce donates the code because of the broad community behind the Eclipse environment.

There's still "too much of a penalty" to learn the working of the OSGi approach to software development, he noted. In addition, there are multiple parties producing OSGi application servers "on separate train tracks." To prevent the OSGi effort from fragmenting in different directions, a standard reference implementation of a runtime application server is needed, he noted.

With dm Server recast as the Eclipse Virgo project, many additional programmers may be drawn into the OSGi fold. SpringSource was an early adopter of OSGi approach for the Spring Framework. By getting a reference implementation

IBM, Oracle and Sun Microsystems were all working on their own implementations of application servers incorporating the OSGi module approach.

The contribution was first announced by Adrian Colyer, CTO of SpringSource, in his blog Jan.12.

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