This week at EclipseCon, I discovered that I had inadvertently opened a can of worms and found the entire Landsraad of the Open Source community arrayed against me. My crime? Apparently it’s simply that I’ve had the audacity to pick up an OSGi specification that has been in existence – and in the public domain – since 2005 (i.e. OSGi RFC 112, the OSGi Bundle Repository) and attempt to work out the issues with that specification so that we can finally formally release it as part of the OSGi specification.
Much of the suffering I was dealt was due to serious misunderstandings of those involved with the process that is currently being played out. Some of this misunderstanding is due to ignorance of the OSGi process – and note that I use the term “ignorance” not as a pejorative, rather simply as a statement of fact. Those who aren’t involved in the OSGi process, nor familiar with the way that specifications in general are produced can sometimes be left bewildered by the array of TLAs and the process by which consensus is reached. Certainly in the Open Source world, sometimes things are done quite differently than they are done in standards bodies (note: I’m not saying that this is universal, only making the point that standards bodies are their own beasts and Open Source communities rarely conform to such formalized systems).
So let me make a couple of points, and talk about how I’m going to carry out the process of specification of the OSGi Bundle Repository to ensure that the world outside of OSGi can participate in this process.