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Eclipse and the pendulum

The pendulum swing toward lighter Web frameworks – sometimes called ‘implementations’ – probably will not swing in one direction infinitely.  Within the plethora of features that made the original Web application servers ‘fat’ are elements needed by some applications. Fat has its place.

Developer styles become an issue as one programming model starts to rule. The frameworks take away work from the developer, providing an added layer of abstraction and simplified means to address common chores. For some this is a boon – for others this is a bane.

It will be interesting to see where the OSGi component standard fits in with all this. It is meant to be modular. It is meant to adhere to the type of programming rigor we find in embedded systems design. But it has significant support for the popular Spring Web framework, too.

OSGi may represent a new development paradigm that can be approached from framework-friendly entry points (implementations), or ones that are more barebones interfaces. For Greg Wilkins, Founder and CTO of Webtide – which last year became part of Intalio – that is a good thing.

“These days, it is too easy not to program to interfaces but instead to implementations,” Wilkins said last week as part of a panel discussion at the open-source EclipseCon event .

“[Developers] got lazy and we tunneled too much to the implementation,” he said. “The OSGi module is going to be good to keep us from being lazy.”

Some people think OSGi is too hard. Some people think Web frameworks are too easy. As the old-time car advertisements used to say: “Your mileage may vary.”

Related story on OSGi
Enterprise OSGi spec rolls out at EclipseCon – SearchSOA.com

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