Dangerous Fred

Every big team has seen one or two of these guys. Dangerous Fred. Brilliant and stupid at the same time, breaks the wrong rules and still gets pretty amazing stuff done. But you don't want him touching your code.

How many meetings do I have to go to, to keep Fred off my project?

I think I've been Fred in decades past, at least once or twice. Sure have written a couple things I'm not so proud of, on the way to becoming a slightly better programmer.

Project Gemini to the rescue:

Gemini is the eclipse.org incarnation of Spring OSGi. It's still very much in incubation, but when it matures, here's what you'll be able to do.

  1. Give Fred his own component to write.
  2. Give Fred a set of tests to pass.
  3. Take Fred's new component when finished.
  4. Wire it in to your app painlessly, using declarative stuff or annotations - or any Spring like IOC.
  5. RELAX! Pretty much lives in it's own classpath container, eh? OSGi to the rescue. SOA for the virtual machine. Fred's stuff can't even touch my stuff without explicitly declaring it in the manifest, which is easy to check. Nice.


It ain't there yet.

OSGi is very mature. Tooling and ease of use stuff, well, that's a different story. Probably a couple years out?

But it's a story worth following. Because I might not like Fred working on my stuff, but I sure like having him do what he's good at. Otherwise, I'd have to do it myself or something.

ALT: Netbeans Platform?

Netbeans Platform might be able to do this all now. Watch that thread! These guys are no slouches, they recently incorporated OSGi and might even pass them here in the future, at least in terms of ease of use issues. Nobody knows what good stuff may happen in this space.

Right now I'm an Eclipse RCP guy, maybe that's a bad decision on my part, maybe not. But I'm watching these Netbeans guys, and I hope you are too. I kind of hope they give Eclipse a run for it's money, both would benefit.