Over the next weeks I will port my small application and framework, which was based on Spring to Apache Felix.
As everyone knows Spring Framework is a framework for applications build around an IoC container. The framework is mainly used when developing web applications without having the hazzle of EJB 2.x. WithEJB 3.0 I do not really see any real advantage of Spring Framework over EJB 3.0. There are some small helpful parts like the transaction and exception handling. But EJB has done a major step in simplifying development. Especially when using annotations it’s quite easy to come up with an application fast.
I use the Spring Framework as base for a mid-size client application and for me it works fine. Beside this I also wrote a smaller client application framework using Spring. But in this case the overhead of having all parts of Spring is just too much. I need something smaller and I don’t want to think about which part of Spring I need and what depends on what in Spring. A second point is during my studies I was involved in the development of an Eclipse plug-in which was quite major. We used a lot of *cool* technologies like EMF, JEM, the early WTP with their JEM enhancements, GEF and more. Now after close to 2 years of abstinence from Eclipse and OSGI it is time to come back 🙂 . So I made a small research and found some small OSGI implementations. One of them is Apache Felix (the former Oscar). What’s so nice about Felix? The most important one: with 322KB it’s really small. Also currently there is not much information available about Apache Felix. So for me these are two good points in starting a small Swing application on Apache Felix and trying to modularize it so much that it is pluggable and I can put different applications on top of the base framework.