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From Jason van Zyl <>
Subject Re: [PROPOSAL] Apache Ace
Date Sun, 05 Apr 2009 18:11:39 GMT
I'm suggesting that  you two groups figure out how to work together on  
a very hard problem.

I'm also saying that you are unlikely to out do the 5 man years in p2  

As I said in the previous email if you want to make a competing system  
that's fine. But don't couch the proposal as something that's new and  
hasn't been addressed elsewhere because it has.

You might want to be more clear in the proposal about p2 being a  
competitor, also make it clear that OBR has gone back to  
specification, and what it is you're actually working from. So when a  
user or potential developer looks at this and says what specification  
are you working from they can see "there isn't one yet", and if they  
ask "what about p2?", then it's clear you decided not to collaborate  
with them. I think you can even point out that they didn't collaborate  
with you either. Give people all the information.

When I walked into the OSGi BOF at Eclipse I was dumbfounded. The same  
dose of sniping and grin fucking as other groups I've worked with  
which was disappointing but I guess I'm not surprised. There were  
attacks abound at EclipseCon. The way p2 came into existence probably  
could have been handled better, no doubt. But I don't find guys like  
Hal very compelling with his melodrama (


Make it clear to people looking at the proposal that provisioning is a  
hard problem. These arguments about the "Eclipse way" of p2 and non- 
focus on server side or other types of systems is nonsense. If you  
actually  have a pointer to p2 in your proposal -- which is  
conspicuously absent -- siting them as a direct competitor users will  
have a clear point of reference. If people had the background story  
they will probably go WTF just like I did.

Both sides of the p2/OBR seem to be equally obstinate and non- 
collaborative. I used p2 because from a technical level as an end user  
because it worked. There are nightly builds, lots of documentation and  
at least 5 people working on it full-time at any given point in time.  
If you look at the p2 code and the OBR spec they are 90% the same  
thing and any differences are easily compensated for with a little  

Competition is fine, I would just be more open about that aspect of it  
in the proposal.

On 5-Apr-09, at 8:47 AM, Karl Pauls wrote:

> On Sun, Apr 5, 2009 at 5:00 PM, Jason van Zyl <>  
> wrote:
>> On 5-Apr-09, at 2:46 AM, Marcel Offermans wrote:
>>> Hello Jason,
>>> On Apr 5, 2009, at 1:09 , Jason van Zyl wrote:
>>>>> Equinox p2 was designed to replace the aging Update Manager in
>>>>> Eclipse. It focusses on installing Eclipse-based applications from
>>>>> scratch and updating them and can be extended to manage other  
>>>>> types
>>>>> of artifacts. If you look at the "agent" part, it is geared  
>>>>> towards
>>>>> desktop environments
>>>> Not true.
>>>> Jeff McAffer's demo at EclipseCon is a case in point. He  
>>>> provisioned
>>>> an EC2 node using p2. [...] Jeff is very much focused on server  
>>>> side
>>>> provisioning as am I.
>>> Let me rephrase that, it's geared more towards desktop and server
>>> environments, as compared to smaller (embedded, mobile)  
>>> environments. That
>>> was the point I was trying to make here.
>>>>> Note though, I'm no Equinox p2 expert. :)
>>>> Then why are you proposing this when you don't even know what p2 is
>>>> capable of?
>>> We started working on this system when p2 did not even exist. I even
>>> remember talking to Jeff in those days about our system, but they  
>>> decided to
>>> make their own, so you could equally well make this argument the  
>>> other way
>>> round.
>> I'll use the same story I used on Richard. I created a DI and  
>> runtime system
>> 5 years ago. So what. Guice and Equinox have a massive user  
>> community,
>> professional support is available for both and so I will cull the
>> technologies I developed. I don't think it really matters so much  
>> who was
>> first but who got to a production system first that is known and  
>> support by
>> thousands of users.
> Are you suggesting that we shouldn't incubate projects that overlap
> with an existing production system outside the ASF?
>>>> It's just my opinion but anyone doing provisioning with OSGi has  
>>>> had
>>>> their asses handed to them on a plate by the p2 guys.
>>> In my opinion, p2 is fine if you are already doing everything "the  
>>> Eclipse
>>> way" and are targetting desktops and servers. There are however  
>>> other types
>>> of systems that need provisioning, and Apache Ace tries to cater  
>>> for those
>>> too.
>> Again you haven't really even looked at p2. What is the "Eclipse  
>> way" ?
>> You're going to make/keep another system entirely because it's the  
>> "Eclipse
>> way" ? I've seen JBoss and Tomcat servers provisioned with p2 so  
>> I'm not
>> sure what the "Eclipse way" means. I'll repeat again that p2 is not
>> targeting desktops whatever aspects may appear most visible right  
>> now. I
>> really don't think there is a system that couldn't be provisioned  
>> even with
>> p2 in its current state. I have personally not found one yet.
> I don't think anyone is attacking p2. If people like and use it:
> great. I certainly think the proposed project should be able to
> interoperate with p2 repositories seamlessly. It sure would be great
> If you could suggest any improvements to the proposal in the area of
> interoperability with p2.
> With that out of the way, I do think there is room for another
> provisioning solution out there. Granted, it might be that it just
> doesn't have any added value over p2 and that people are going to
> ignore it but I'd say this risk exists for all projects, no?
> During the incubation, we will see whether the project is able to
> attract enough users and contributors. The initial interest looks very
> promising IMO.
> regards,
> Karl
>>>> Oleg and I were trying to make something and after looking around  
>>>> at
>>>> everything -- and we did look at OBR -- we decided that p2 was good
>>>> enough and we would help improve that.
>>> OBR is a repository for components, augmented with metadata that  
>>> describes
>>> dependencies. As such it's not a provisioning system, so in my  
>>> opinion you
>>> should not compare it to p2.
>>>> There's nothing wrong with competition but I think anyone doing  
>>>> OSGi
>>>> provisioning is just going to look around in a year and find p2 has
>>>> 95% of the market. It's a complicated problem and I think p2 is a
>>>> solid base and be improved and adapted to support  things like  
>>>> OBR or
>>>> anything else including non-OSGi systems.
>>> Nobody can look into the future, and since both p2 and Ace are  
>>> indeed
>>> software provisioning solutions, there will definitely be overlap in
>>> features. There are also differences though. In the end, the users  
>>> will
>>> decide what they like best.
>> There's no doubt they will.
>>> Greetings, Marcel
>>> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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>> Thanks,
>> Jason
>> ----------------------------------------------------------
>> Jason van Zyl
>> Founder,  Apache Maven
>> ----------------------------------------------------------
>> You are never dedicated to something you have complete confidence in.
>> No one is fanatically shouting that the sun is going to rise  
>> tomorrow.
>> They know it is going to rise tomorrow. When people are fanatically
>> dedicated to political or religious faiths or any other kind of
>> dogmas or goals, it's always because these dogmas or
>> goals are in doubt.
>>  -- Robert Pirzig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
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> -- 
> Karl Pauls
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Jason van Zyl
Founder,  Apache Maven

To do two things at once is to do neither.

  -—Publilius Syrus, Roman slave, first century B.C.

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