IBM, Paremus, Rebaze, Red Hat, and VMware/SpringSource, with interested parties Peter Kriens and SAP, have submitted an Eclipse Bundle Recipes project proposal aiming to provide a repository of OSGi bundle templates for open source JARs. The intention is that this will supersede the SpringSource Enterprise Bundle Repository (EBR).
It's been nearly a couple of years since we made the templates from the SpringSource EBR available on github. Apart from several pull requests from Raman Gupta (a.k.a. rocketraman, pictured below), not much appeared to happen...
In fact, quite a lot was happening behind the scenes. I was in touch with various colleagues in other companies to see if there was interest in creating a community-based replacement for the SpringSource EBR. It turned out that several large vendors did want to join in, but some of them were very cautious about the licenses of the JAR files that the project would handle. For this reason, we went in the direction of a project to host just the manifest templates.
Clearly, this wasn't going to be much use to people needing to download OSGi bundles, so we also discussed how to make the resultant bundles available. One approach was to generate the bundles on the client machine to cope with most, if not all, open source licenses. The downside of this is the potential lack of reproducibility each time a bundle is generated.
The more people we talked to, the more interest there was in storing the generated bundles in Maven Central. It turns out this is exactly what the Pax Tipi project over at OPS4J started doing last year. So we hope to build on their experience, but perhaps achieve a higher profile.
So the plan is to collaborate on templates at the Eclipse Bundle Recipes project, but also have these published to Maven Central. The details need to be worked out, but now that the Eclipse project proposal has been submitted, we can finally talk about this in public. The project fits naturally into the Eclipse Runtime umbrella project.
Interestingly, another resource for people wanting to add OSGi manifests to existing project has recently become available - the metadata advice bugzilla category at the OSGi Alliance. This should be a valuable resource for anyone wanting to develop a high quality OSGi manifest for a third party JAR.
discussion topic on the proposals forum if you want to comment.