Equinox/Luna Framework

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The Equinox Framework for the Luna release (Equinox 4.4 release) is an implementation of the OSGi R6 Framework specification. The OSGi R6 Core framework specification (finalized in March 2014) will contain enhancements in the following areas:

  • Introduction of Service Scopes to the OSGi Service Registry (RFC 195)
  • Improvements of Weaving Hooks (RFC 191)
  • Clarification of hooks on the system bundle (RFC 198)
  • Native environment namespace (RFC 188)
  • Data Transfer Objects (RFC 185)
  • Addition of FrameworkWiring.findProviders

From an Equinox perspective these are considered incremental enhancements. Most, if not all, of these enhancements are in place for the Luna integrations builds already. A majority of the development effort during the Luna release is focused on refactoring and in many cases rewriting the core Equinox Framework implementation to be based on the OSGi generic dependency model. There are a number of reasons to do this. Please see the Equinox presentation given by Tom Watson at EclipseCon US 2013 for some background. Also see bug 404389 for the umbrella bug for moving to the new framework. The following sections discuss the main issues that the community should be aware of when moving to the Equinox Luna Framework implementation. Please direct any questions or comments you may have to the equinox-dev mailing list

Replacing the Equinox Resolver

The package org.eclipse.osgi.service.resolver contains the Equinox resolver API. This API and the implementation of that API has been used by the Equinox framework ever since the Eclipse 3.0 release. Over that time many things have changed and many things have been learned. The Equinox Resolver API and it use came about as an afterthought for the framework implementation and had to evolve over time as changes were made to the OSGi Core Framework specification. The end result is not optimal (to put it lightly). There are many issues with the interactions of the core framework with the resolver implementation.

  • A good locking strategy for thread safety is not well thought out and in some cases non-existant.
    • This results in several, hard to reproduce, dead-locks or concurrency issues.
  • The Equinox resolver API is strongly typed with respect to dependency types.
    • This means that each time OSGi introduces a new type of requirement then new API is required to be added to the Equinox resolver API.
    • A few OSGi specification releases ago the specification moved to defining all OSGi dependency types in terms of a generic dependency model. This makes the current implementation, using strongly typed dependencies, awkward when considering the concepts documented the core specification.
    • Along with the generic dependency model came a new wiring API. This wiring API more accurately models the dependencies in OSGi and is a replacement for the deprecated PackageAdmin service.
    • The equinox resolver has to do many awkward transformations in order to express the internal strongly typed dependencies into generic wiring types.

Instead of trying to live with the strongly typed resolver API and do major work to implement an overall locking strategy, we have decided to stop using the equinox resolver API altogether in the framework implementation. We have implemented a container which is used to manage (install, uninstall, update) generic metadata.

The container becomes the central brain of the core framework implementation and is responsible for the following:

  • Managing resources
    • Access to meta-data, in the form of generic capabilities and requirements from the OSGi wiring API.
    • Lifecycle operations (install, update, start, stop, uninstall)
    • Persistences of the state of the container
  • Resolving dependencies
    • Uses an OSGi R5 Resolver service
  • Provides a central concurrency and locking strategy
    • Properly handle call outs (hooks) while holding no locks
    • Allow for re-entrant read/write locks that allow for multiple readers to access the data.
  • Provides a generic API that can be used outside the framework

For the framework, the meta-data associated with a revision comes from a bundle's manifest, but the meta-data installed into the container does not care how the meta-data is declared. A module revision builder is used to create bundle a revision for installation and update of revisions in the container.

Redoing the Equinox Framework Specific Hooks

The Equinox Framework has a number of powerful framework specific Adaptor_Hooks. Much of the internal details have changed which requires an overhual of the Equinox implementation specific Hooks. As a result ALL existing Equinox Hook implementations are broken and will need to migrate.

  • Equinox 3.9 (Kepler) had many different hook interfaces (eight altogether)
  • Luna framework has a total of 4 hooks
    • Class Loading Hook - An abstract class that a hook extends. Allows for new methods to be added with default implementation to avoid breaking hook implementations
    • Activator Hook - Hooks into the activation and shutdown process of the framework
    • Bundle File Wrapper hook - Allows a hook to wrap access to a bundle file archive (jar, directory)
    • Storage Hook - Allows a hook to persist data into the framework storage for each bundle resource in the framework.

In most cases it should be possible to migrate existing hook implementations over to the new API. Keep in mind that most of the internal types representing bundle have changed.

Removal of Old Style Plugin Support

For Luna the framework will no longer support old style Eclipse Plugins (see bug 407312) by default. In order to support the migration to OSGi bundles during the Eclipse 3.0 release the Equinox framework had support for transforming old style plugins, into real OSGi bundles at runtime. This support will no longer be built directly into the framework. A compatibility fragment called org.eclipse.osgi.compatibility.plugins may be installed that adds back an implementation of the org.eclipse.osgi.service.pluginconversion.PluginConverter and the support for old style Eclipse Plugins at runtime. This compatibility fragment will need to be installed if you want to done one of the following:

  • Run old style Eclipse plugins on a Luna based Equinox framework
  • Use PDE from a Luna Eclipse build to develop old style Eclipse plugins
  • Use p2 to publish old style Eclipse plugins to a repository

Removal of the PlatformAdmin Service Implementation

This is directly related to the topic of replacing the Equinox Resolver. The service interface org.eclipse.osgi.service.resolver.PlatformAdmin is the base service which other bundles can use to get access to the system resolver State or create sandbox resolver State objects. This is useful for gather information about the running state or to model a set of bundles outside of a framework. For example, in PDE and Tycho to model the class path when developing and building bundles.

For the Luna release the Equinox framework will no longer provide an implementation of the org.eclipse.osgi.service.resolver.PlatformAdmin by default. A compatibility fragment called org.eclipse.osgi.compatibility.state can be installed that adds back an implementation of PlatformAdmin. This PlatformAdmin implementation has some limitations because it is no longer tied directly to the implementation of the framework. These limitations are all related to getting information about the running state. The most reliable way to get information about the running framework is to use the OSGi wiring API. The compatibility fragment works great for scenarios that use PlatformAdmin to create sandbox State objects for modeling OSGi bundles outside of the framework (e.g. PDE, Tycho). The org.eclipse.osgi.compatibility.state fragment has been added to the RCP feature and various other Equinox features (see bug 407097).

Requirement on Java 6

Java 6 is now required by the core Equinox OSGi Framework implementation. The main reason is to gain access to a few new methods which are useful for implementing the locking strategy of the core framework implementation and use some of the other convenience methods in Java 6.