Feeds

Android tunes into OSGi

Mechanized, mobile modularity

High performance access to file storage

EclipseCon The Eclipse Foundation's announcement of a runtime project got a lot of coverage, as the one-time tools-centric initiative moved deeper into runtime deployment and management.

OSGi on mobile was one area that generated particular interest at EclipseCon. And not just any mobile: we're talking Google's Linux-based Android.

Getting Android to run on Concierge and Equinox was the subject of one packed session. Concierge is an optimized OSGi R3 implementation, and Equinox, a lightweight OSGi-based runtime that serves as the core of the Eclipse Framework and is a key component of the new Eclipse runtime.

OSGi defines an architecture for developing and deploying modular applications and libraries. It's used for mobile and embedded devices, desktop applications, and server applications hosted on a range of operating systems. It's also an enabler of the Eclipse plug-in model.

Why the interest in Android on OSGi, though? The specification provides a common model for writing and deploying applications to local or remote computers in modularized form. Instead of forcing developers to create monolithic apps, the spec potentially enables smaller components to work together.

An OSGi framework on Android allows for the possibility that code developed elsewhere can run unmodified on the Android environment. And that makes it possible for developers to build Android apps as small bundles that provide little more than the GUI code, with all the other work carried out by bundles that can run on any Java platform that supports an OSGi framework.

Session presenters BJ Hargrave, IBM lead architect for OSGi technologies, and independent Java developer and consultant specializing in the Eclipse Rich Client Platform and OSGi Neil Bartlett, credited the work of software engineers Karl Pauls and Marcel Offermans for developing techniques they used on their project. Pauls and Offermans managed to get Apache Felix, the OSGi R4 Service Platform implementation, running on Android.

One technique in particular, which Bartlett called "dexification", takes advantage of a utility within the Android virtual machine (called Dalvik). The utility can convert Java class files to the native Dalvik format - into what are known as DEX files.

In another session, meanwhile, AOL, Cloudsmith and Bug Labs demonstrated an OSGi-based mobile application that linked a group of "virtual distributions" delivered as a service bundle for deployment on OSGi-enabled Android and Bug Labs' mobile devices.

Cloudsmith's web-based component aggregation service was used to publish and consume the OSGi bundles. Cloudsmith also served as an assembly mechanism for separate developer distros of Android/Felix and Bug's Dragonfly SDK.

AOL's Xdrive was used as an infrastructure provider for Eclipse Spaces and as an OSGi bundle providing virtual storage for the demonstration application. Eclipse Spaces was incorporated as a publishing mechanism for newly developed components.®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month
... but don't worry, charter members, you're still in 'for life'
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.