Project Plan For Equinox, version Helios

Introduction

Last revised September 10, 2009 ((new) marks interesting changes since the previous draft)

Please send comments about this plan to the equinox-dev@eclipse.org developer mailing list.

The goal of the Equinox project is to be a first class OSGi community and foster the vision of Eclipse Runtime technologies. As part of this, it is responsible for developing and delivering the OSGi framework implementation used for all of Eclipse. Equinox is also responsible for developing other core runtime technologies such as p2, extension registry, security and core server-side runtime components.

This document lays out the feature and API set for the next feature release of Equinox after 3.5, designated release 3.6 and code-named Helios.

Plans do not materialize out of nowhere, nor are they entirely static. To ensure the planning process is transparent and open to the entire Eclipse community, we (the Equinox component leads) post plans in an embryonic form and revise them throughout the release cycle.

The first part of the plan deals with the important matters of release deliverables, release milestones, target operating environments, and release-to-release compatibility. These are all things that need to be clear for any release, even if no features were to change.

The remainder of the plan consists of plan items for all of the sub-projects under the Equinox Project. Each plan item covers a feature or API that is to be added to the Equinox Project deliverables, or some aspect of the Equinox Project that is to be improved. Each plan item has its own entry in the Eclipse bugzilla database, with a title and a concise summary (usually a single paragraph) that explains the work item at a suitably high enough level so that everyone can readily understand what the work item is without having to understand the nitty-gritty detail.

Not all plan items represent the same amount of work; some may be quite large, others, quite small. Some plan items may involve work that is localized to a single component; others may involve coordinated changes to several components; other may pervade the entire SDK. Although some plan items are for work that is more pressing than others, the plan items appear in no particular order.

With the previous release as the starting point, this is the plan for how we will enhance and improve it. Fixing bugs, improving test coverage, documentation, examples, performance tuning, usability, etc. are considered routine ongoing maintenance activities and are not included in this plan unless they would also involve a significant change to the API or feature set, or involve a significant amount of work. The intent of the plan is to account for all interesting feature work.

The current status of each plan item is noted:

  • Committed plan item - A committed plan item is one that we have decided to address for the release.
  • Proposed plan item - A proposed plan item is one that we are considering addressing for the release. Although we are actively investigating it, we are not yet in a position to commit to it, or to say that we won't be able to address it. After due consideration, a proposal will either be committed or deferred.
  • Deferred plan item - A reasonable proposal that will not make it in to this release for some reason is marked as deferred with a brief note as to why it was deferred. Deferred plan items may resurface as committed plan items at a later point.

Release Deliverables

The release deliverables have the same form as previous releases, namely:

  • Source code release for all Equinox Project deliverables, available as versions tagged "R3_6" in the Equinox Project CVS repository.
  • Framework:
    • An OSGi R4.2 Core Framework implementation
    • Native launcher and splash screen support
  • Compendium Services:
    • Application Container - An implementation of the OSGi R4.2 MEG Application Container service.
    • Config Admin - An implementation of the OSGi R4.2 Configuration Admin service.
    • Device Access Service - An implementation of the OSGi R4.2 Device Access service.
    • Declarative Services - An implementation of the OSGi R4.2 Declarative Services specification.
    • Event Admin Service - An implementation of the OSGi R4.2 Event Admin Service.
    • HTTP Service - An implementation of the OSGi R4.2 HTTP service.
    • HTTP Servlet - Generic support for exposing another servlet facility (e.g., an underlying application server) as an OSGi HTTP service.
    • IO Connector Service - An implementation of the OSGi R4.2 IO Connector Service.
    • Initial Provisioning - An implementation of the OSGi R4.2 Initial Provisioning.
    • Log Service - An implementation of the OSGi R4.2 Log service.
    • Metatype Service - An implementation of the OSGi R4.2 Metatype service.
    • Preferences Service - The Eclipse preference service is an extension of the standard OSGi preference service that adds listeners and the notion of preference scopes.
    • User Admin Service - An implementation of the OSGi R4.2 User Admin Service.
    • Wire Admin Service - An implementation of the OSGi R4.2 Wire Admin Service.
  • p2
    • Command line application to mirror repositories.
    • Command line application to manage (install / uninstall / update) an eclipse install.
    • UI to manage an eclipse installation from within eclipse.
    • API to programmatically interact with p2.
  • Component model
    • Eclipse Extension Registry - The Eclipse extension registry allows bundles to communicate and cooperate using declarative markup and lazy instantiation.
    • Equinox Transforms - A framework to provide transformations of bundle resources.
  • Security
    • Equinox Secure Storage
    • Certificate Trust Engine - API for to managing trusted certificates
  • Server Side
    • HTTP Registry - Support for registering servlets, resources and JSPs via the Eclipse extension registry rather than using the code based OSGi registration mechanisms.
    • JSP Registry - Provides a JSP Factory that allows JSP usage with the HTTP Registry.
    • Servlet Bridge - Low level hook servlet installed in an existing traditional application server. This servlet launches an embedded Equinox and enables it to handle incoming HTTP requests originally sent to the underlying server.
    • HTTP Jetty - A thin layer that exposes an embedded Jetty server as a compliant OSGi HTTP service.
  • Weaving
    • Equinox Weaving - Support for weaving aspects at runtime.

Table of Contents

Release Milestones

Release milestones will be occurring at roughly 6 week intervals, and will be aligned with the Helios Simultaneous Release train.

M108/07/2009
3.6M1
M209/18/2009
3.6M2
M310/30/2009
3.6M3
M412/11/2009
3.6M4
M501/29/2010
3.6M5
M603/12/2010
3.6M6 (API Freeze)
M704/30/2010
3.6M7 (Feature Freeze)

Individual, milestone level plans for the components that make up the Equinox Project can be found on the Equinox Project Helios Plan page on the wiki.

Our target is to complete 3.6 in late June 2010, in alignment with Helios. All release deliverables will be available for download as soon as the release has been tested and validated in the target operating configurations listed below.

Dates for builds after M7 will be found in the Equinox Helios end-game plan, available near 3.6 M7.

Table of Contents

Target Environments

In order to remain current, each Equinox Project release targets reasonably current operating environments.

Most of Equinox is "pure" Java code and has no direct dependence on the underlying operating system. The chief dependence is therefore on the Java Platform itself. Portions are targeted to specific classes of operating environments, requiring their source code to only reference facilities available in particular class libraries (e.g. J2ME Foundation 1.0, J2SE 1.3 and 1.4, etc.).

In general, the 3.6 release of the Equinox Project is developed on a mix of Java 1.4, Java 5 and Java 6 VMs. As such, the Equinox SDK as a whole is targeted at all modern, desktop Java VMs. Full functionality is available for 1.4 level development everywhere, and extended development capabilities are made available on the VMs that support them.

Appendix 1 contains a table that indicates the class library level required for each bundle.

There are many different implementations of the Java Platform running atop a variety of operating systems. We focus our testing on a handful of popular combinations of operating system and Java Platform; these are our reference platforms. Equinox undoubtedly runs fine in many operating environments beyond the reference platforms we test. However, since we do not systematically test them we cannot vouch for them. Problems encountered when running Equinox on a non-reference platform that cannot be recreated on any reference platform will be given lower priority than problems with running Equinox on a reference platform.

Equinox 3.6 is tested and validated on the following reference platforms (this list is updated over the course of the release cycle):

Operating System Version Hardware JRE Windowing System
Windows (new) 7 x86 32-bit Sun Java 5 Update 14
IBM Java 5 SR6b
Win32
x86 64-bit
Vista x86 32-bit Sun Java 5 Update 14
IBM Java 5 SR6b
BEA JRockit 27.4.0
x86 64-bit Sun Java 5 Update 14
IBM Java 5 SR6b
XP x86 32-bit Sun Java 6 Update 3
Sun Java 5 Update 14
Sun Java 1.4.2 Update 16
IBM Java 5 SR6b
IBM Java 1.4.2 SR10
BEA JRockit 27.4.0
x86 64-bit Sun Java 5 Update 14
IBM Java 5 SR6b
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.0 x86 32-bit Sun Java 6 Update 3
Sun Java 5 Update 14
Sun Java 1.4.2 Update 16
IBM Java 5 SR6b
IBM Java 1.4.2 SR10
BEA JRockit 27.4.0
GTK
(new) Power 64-bit IBM Java 5 SR6b
4.0 x86 64-bit Sun Java 5 Update 14
IBM Java 5 SR6b
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (new) 11 x86 32-bit Sun Java 5 Update 14
IBM Java 5 SR6b
GTK
x86 64-bit
(new) Power 64-bit IBM Java 5 SR6b
(new) Ubuntu Long Term Support 9.04 x86 32-bit Sun Java 5 Update 14
IBM Java 5 SR6b
GTK
x86 64-bit
Sun Solaris 10 x86 32-bit Sun Java 5 Update 14 GTK
SPARC
HP-UX 11i v2 ia64 HP-UX Java 5 Update 7 Motif 2.1
IBM AIX 5.3 Power IBM Java 5 SR6b Motif 2.1
Apple Mac OS X 10.5 Universal Apple Java 10.5 Update 1 Carbon
Universal 32-bit Cocoa
Universal 64-bit

As stated above, we expect that Equinox works fine on other current Java VM and OS versions but we cannot flag these as reference platforms without significant community support for testing them.

Internationalization

The Equinox SDK is designed as the basis for internationalized products. The user interface elements provided by the Equinox components, including dialogs and error messages, are externalized. The English strings are provided as the default resource bundles.

Latin-1 and DBCS locales are supported by the Equinox on all reference platforms; BIDI locales are supported by the Equinox everywhere but on Motif.

The Equinox supports GB 18030 (level 1), the Chinese code page standard, on Windows XP and 2000, Linux/GTK and the Macintosh.

German and Japanese locales are tested.

Table of Contents

Compatibility with Previous Releases

Compatibility of Release 3.6 with 3.5

Equinox 3.6 will be compatible with Equinox 3.5 (and all earlier 3.x versions).

API Contract Compatibility: Equinox 3.6 will be upwards contract-compatible with Equinox 3.5 except in those areas noted in the Eclipse 3.6 Plug-in Migration Guide . Programs that use affected APIs and extension points will need to be ported to Equinox 3.6 APIs. Downward contract compatibility is not supported. There is no guarantee that compliance with Equinox 3.6 APIs would ensure compliance with Equinox 3.5 APIs. Refer to Evolving Java-based APIs for a discussion of the kinds of API changes that maintain contract compatibility.

Binary (plug-in) Compatibility: Equinox 3.6 will be upwards binary-compatible with Equinox 3.5 except in those areas noted in the Eclipse 3.6 Plug-in Migration Guide . Downward plug-in compatibility is not supported. Plug-ins for Equinox 3.6 will not be usable in Equinox 3.5. Refer to Evolving Java-based APIs for a discussion of the kinds of API changes that maintain binary compatibility.

Source Compatibility: Equinox 3.6 will be upwards source-compatible with Equinox 3.5 except in the areas noted in the Eclipse 3.6 Plug-in Migration Guide . This means that source files written to use Equinox 3.5 APIs might successfully compile and run against Equinox 3.6 APIs, although this is not guaranteed. Downward source compatibility is not supported. If source files use new Equinox APIs, they will not be usable with an earlier version of Equinox.

Workspace Compatibility: Equinox 3.6 will be upwards workspace-compatible with earlier 3.x versions of the Equinox unless noted. This means that workspaces created with Equinox 3.5 .. 3.0 can be successfully opened by Equinox 3.6 and upgraded to a 3.6 workspace. This includes both hidden metadata, which is localized to a particular workspace, as well as metadata files found within a workspace project (e.g., the .project file), which may propagate between workspaces via file copying or team repositories. Individual plug-ins developed for Eclipse SDK 3.6 should provide similar upwards compatibility for their hidden and visible workspace metadata created by earlier versions; 3.6 plug-in developers are responsible for ensuring that their plug-ins recognize metadata from earlier versions and process it appropriately. User interface session state may be discarded when a workspace is upgraded. Downward workspace compatibility is not supported. A workspace created (or opened) by a product based on Eclipse 3.6 will be unusable with a product based on an earlier version of Eclipse. Visible metadata files created (or overwritten) by Eclipse 3.6 will generally be unusable with earlier versions of Eclipse.

Non-compliant usage of API's: All non-API methods and classes, and certainly everything in a package with "internal" in its name or exported with the x-internal directive, are considered implementation details which may vary between operating environment and are subject to change without notice. Client plug-ins that directly depend on anything other than what is specified in the Equinox API are inherently unsupportable and receive no guarantees about compatibility within a single release much less with earlier releases. Refer to How to Use the Eclipse API for information about how to write compliant plug-ins.

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Themes and Priorities

The plan items listed below were defined according to contributor requirements and the Eclipse Themes and Priorities set forth by the Eclipse Requirements Council. Each plan item covers a feature or API that is to be added to the Equinox Project deliverables, or some aspect of the Equinox Project that is to be improved. Each plan item has its own entry in the Equinox bugzilla database, with a title and a concise summary (usually a single paragraph) that explains the work item at a suitably high enough level so that everyone can readily understand what the work item.

Although there are several components under the Equinox Project, there is a significant amount of commonality and shared effort between them. In general, many plan items involve coordinated changes to multiple components, and thus attempting to separate the items into sections based on components leads to artificial distinctions between them (e.g., Framework vs. p2, Security vs. Server Side, etc.). As such, this plan covers the work of all projects under the Equinox Project.

Not all plan items represent the same amount of work; some may be quite large, others, quite small. Although some plan items are for work that is more pressing than others, the plan items appear in no particular order. See the corresponding bugzilla items for up-to-date status information on ongoing work and planned delivery milestones.

The current status of each plan item is noted:

  • Committed plan item - A committed plan item is one that we have decided to address for the release. In bugzilla, this is reflected by having a concrete target milestone assigned.
  • Proposed plan item - A proposed plan item is one that we are considering addressing for the release. Although we are actively investigating it, we are not yet in a position to commit to it, or to say that we won't be able to address it. After due consideration, a proposal will either be committed or deferred. In bugzilla, such items are reflected by having a target milestone "3.6" or "---" assigned.
  • Deferred plan item - A reasonable proposal that will not make it in to this release for some reason is marked as deferred with a brief note as to why it was deferred. Deferred plan items may resurface as committed plan items at a later point. In bugzilla, such items are reflected by having a target milestone "Future" assigned.

Scalability and Performance

New usage scenarios for Equinox require it to be faster, smaller, bigger, ... The technology needs to scale up or down to allow Equinox to scale down to small embedded environments as well as scaling up to large server environments. Monitor overall performance and memory consumption which includes the addition of new performance tests for new features.

  • Committed
    • (new) Support for low memory events Investigation will be done to leverage event admin to deliver events. One event example is support for firing and listening for low memory events. [components] (284061)
  • Proposed
    • Focus on performance Investigation will be done to improve performance of equinox for both CPU and memory usage. For example, some of the bottlenecks that slowdown the p2 resolver/engine/etc. will be improved and investigation to improve performance of the framework resolver. [All Components] (289121)
  • Deferred

    None at this time.

Robustness

As the basis for the entire Eclipse eco-system, Equinox must be robust, flexible and secure. This work will address those issues by providing API for missing or currently internal functionality, and focusing on the issues that affect the stability of the platform.

  • Committed
    • Provide p2 repository verification tools A set of tools will be developed that help developers verify the content of p2 repositories. [p2] (289134)
    • Multi-locale support in the extension registry Multi-locale scenarios such as server-side require that the translated content of the extension registry support multiple locales at the same time. Currently the extension registry only supports one locale at a time. [components] (244468)
    • (new) Define p2 API and complete java doc. Previous releases of p2 have included provisional API. For this release p2 will graduate a subset of the most important APIs. [p2] (248791)
  • Proposed

    None at this time.

  • Deferred
    • p2 install flexibility p2 supports basic install layouts well, but has some limitations preventing more advanced layouts. We will improve the flexibility and configurability of p2-based installs to provide better support for multi-user installs, and make greater use of relative paths to allow installs to be relocated. [p2] (289133)

Consumability

This work will make it easier for users to get Equinox, install it on their systems, and configure it for their use. It also covers work related to error handling and reporting mechanisms.

  • Committed
    • (new) Support updating from 3.5 to 3.6 and rollback from 3.6 to 3.5 Eclipse has never supported updating from one major release to the next. Now with p2 Eclipse will be able to upgrade from one major release to the next. [p2] (289135)
  • Proposed

    None at this time.

  • Deferred
    • Use p2 to manage and run on other OSGi framework implementations Currently p2 can only run on and manage an Equinox framework. Work will be done to allow p2 to run on and manage other OSGi framework implementations (e.g. Apache Felix). [p2] (289136)

Future

Eclipse is evolving quickly. New features in the next OSGi specification and e4 will drive numerous changes throughout the Equinox project. Considerable effort will be put into updating Equinox to accomodate and exploit these new scenarios.

  • Committed
    • (new) Participate in the OSGi specification process Various OSGi specifications are actively being developed by the OSGi Alliance. Equinox will participate in the specification process to provide our expertise in areas that apply to Equinox. In many cases Equinox will provide an implementation of the new specification if the specification schedule aligns with the Equinox release schedule and we have Equinox community interest. [All Components] (289124)
  • Proposed

    None at this time.

  • Deferred

    None at this time.

Table of Contents

Appendix Execution Environment by Bundle

In the table below, the "3.6 minimum execution environment" column indicates the minimum Java class library requirements of each bundle for the 3.6 release, where the value is one of:

Entry Meaning
M1.0
OSGi Minimum Execution Environment 1.0 - This is a subset of the J2ME Foundation 1.0 class libraries defined by OSGi to be the base for framework implementations. See the OSGi specification for more details.
M1.1
OSGi Minimum Execution Environment 1.1 - This is a subset of the J2ME Foundation 1.1 class libraries defined by OSGi to be the base for framework implementations. See the OSGi specification for more details.
M1.2
OSGi Minimum Execution Environment 1.2 - This is a subset of the J2ME Foundation 1.1 class libraries defined by OSGi to be the base for framework implementations. See the OSGi specification for more details.
F1.0
J2ME Foundation 1.0 - indicates that the bundle can only be run on Foundation 1.0 or greater. Note that with the exception of some MicroEdition IO classes, Foundation 1.0 is a subset of J2SE 1.3.
F1.1
J2ME Foundation 1.1 - indicates that the bundle can only be run on Foundation 1.1 or greater. Note that with the exception of some MicroEdition IO classes, Foundation 1.1 is a subset of J2SE 1.4.
1.3
J2SE 1.3 - indicates that the bundle can only be run on JSE 1.3 or greater.
1.4
J2SE 1.4 - indicates that the bundle can only be run on JSE 1.4 or greater.
1.5
Java SE 5 - indicates that the bundle can only be run on Java SE 5 or greater.
1.6
Java SE 6 - indicates that the bundle can only be run on Java SE 6 or greater.
n/a Unknown at the time of this revision.

Table of minimum execution environments by bundle. (See also the Equinox Project plan for the execution environment requirements of bundles contributed via that project.)

Bundle

3.6
minimum
execution
environment

org.eclipse.equinox.app
M1.2
org.eclipse.equinox.cm
M1.2
org.eclipse.equinox.common
F1.1
org.eclipse.equinox.concurrent
F1.0
org.eclipse.equinox.device
F1.0
org.eclipse.equinox.ds
M1.2
org.eclipse.equinox.event
M1.1
org.eclipse.equinox.frameworkadmin
F1.1
org.eclipse.equinox.frameworkadmin.equinox
F1.1
org.eclipse.equinox.http
M1.1
org.eclipse.equinox.http.jetty
1.4
org.eclipse.equinox.http.registry
F1.0
org.eclipse.equinox.http.servlet
F1.0
org.eclipse.equinox.http.servletbridge
F1.0
org.eclipse.equinox.io
M1.0
org.eclipse.equinox.ip
F1.0
org.eclipse.equinox.jsp.jasper
F1.0
org.eclipse.equinox.jsp.jasper.registry
F1.0
org.eclipse.equinox.launcher
M1.2
org.eclipse.equinox.launcher.carbon.macosx
N/A
org.eclipse.equinox.launcher.cocoa.macosx
N/A
org.eclipse.equinox.launcher.cocoa.macosx.x86_64
N/A
org.eclipse.equinox.launcher.gtk.linux.ppc
N/A
org.eclipse.equinox.launcher.gtk.linux.s390
N/A
org.eclipse.equinox.launcher.gtk.linux.s390x
N/A
org.eclipse.equinox.launcher.gtk.linux.x86
N/A
org.eclipse.equinox.launcher.gtk.linux.x86_64
N/A
org.eclipse.equinox.launcher.gtk.solaris.sparc
N/A
org.eclipse.equinox.launcher.gtk.solaris.x86
N/A
org.eclipse.equinox.launcher.motif.aix.ppc
N/A
org.eclipse.equinox.launcher.motif.hpux.PA_RISC
N/A
org.eclipse.equinox.launcher.motif.hpux.ia64_32
N/A
org.eclipse.equinox.launcher.motif.linux.x86
N/A
org.eclipse.equinox.launcher.motif.solaris.sparc
N/A
org.eclipse.equinox.launcher.win32.win32.ia64
N/A
org.eclipse.equinox.launcher.win32.win32.x86
N/A
org.eclipse.equinox.launcher.win32.win32.x86_64
N/A
org.eclipse.equinox.launcher.wpf.win32.x86
N/A
org.eclipse.equinox.log
M1.2
org.eclipse.equinox.metatype
M1.1
org.eclipse.equinox.p2.artifact.repository
F1.1
org.eclipse.equinox.p2.console
F1.1
org.eclipse.equinox.p2.core
F1.1
org.eclipse.equinox.p2.director
F1.1
org.eclipse.equinox.p2.director.app
F1.1
org.eclipse.equinox.p2.directorywatcher
F1.1
org.eclipse.equinox.p2.engine
F1.1
org.eclipse.equinox.p2.exemplarysetup
F1.1
org.eclipse.equinox.p2.extensionlocation
F1.1
org.eclipse.equinox.p2.garbagecollector
F1.1
org.eclipse.equinox.p2.jarprocessor
F1.1
org.eclipse.equinox.p2.metadata
F1.1
org.eclipse.equinox.p2.metadata.generator
1.4
org.eclipse.equinox.p2.metadata.repository
F1.1
org.eclipse.equinox.p2.publisher
F1.1
org.eclipse.equinox.p2.reconciler.dropins
F1.1
org.eclipse.equinox.p2.repository
F1.1
org.eclipse.equinox.p2.repository.tools
F1.1
org.eclipse.equinox.p2.touchpoint.eclipse
F1.1
org.eclipse.equinox.p2.touchpoint.natives
F1.1
org.eclipse.equinox.p2.ui
F1.1
org.eclipse.equinox.p2.ui.sdk
F1.1
org.eclipse.equinox.p2.ui.sdk.scheduler
F1.1
org.eclipse.equinox.p2.updatechecker
F1.1
org.eclipse.equinox.p2.updatesite
F1.1
org.eclipse.equinox.preferences
F1.1
org.eclipse.equinox.registry
F1.0
org.eclipse.equinox.security
1.4
org.eclipse.equinox.security.macosx
1.4
org.eclipse.equinox.security.tests
1.4
org.eclipse.equinox.security.ui
1.4
org.eclipse.equinox.security.win32.x86
1.4
org.eclipse.equinox.servletbridge
F1.0
org.eclipse.equinox.simpleconfigurator
F1.1
org.eclipse.equinox.simpleconfigurator.manipulator
F1.1
org.eclipse.equinox.supplement
F1.0
org.eclipse.equinox.transforms.hook
1.4
org.eclipse.equinox.transforms.xslt
1.4
org.eclipse.equinox.useradmin
M1.1
org.eclipse.equinox.util
M1.1
org.eclipse.equinox.wireadmin
M1.0
org.eclipse.osgi
M1.2
org.eclipse.osgi.services
M1.2
org.eclipse.osgi.util
M1.2

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