Oleg’s Weblog

My Tech Rant

OSGi and “uses” directive

Posted by Oleg Zhurakousky on December 9, 2008

In current Java model, uniqueness of the class is defined by fully qualified name of the class plus the defining class loader. This mechanism actually creates a problem, where it is quite easy to have multiple versions of the same class loaded in a single JVM space. This happens quite a lot, giving Java’s ability to load classes dynamically. Modern framework such as Spring, Hibernate and others utilize this feature quite a bit. However if not used properly, having multiple instances of class loaded often results in memory leaks and various class type exceptions such as CCE, NCDF, Linkage etc. . .

OSGi approaches this problem rather differently and it does so by bringing the concept of class/packages version into the runtime environment, thus allowing you to still have multiple versions of the same class loaded without creating conflicts.  But it comes with the price. OSGi defines a very strict visibility and class sharing rules that must be explicitly declared, while at the same time moving us a way from the legacy mentality of the linear class path we are all so used to.

The following article article concentrates on one area of OSGi dependency resolution mechanism and that is “uses” directive. . .

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