Sunday, April 22, 2007

Glassfish and Woodstox

Some good news from Glassfish (Sun's Open Source JavaEE application server): as per this blog entry by Santiago, Glassfish can now seamlessly use Woodstox as its Stax implementation, instead of Sun's Stax implementation, sjsxp (which is the default). Although it may have been possible to do this earlier (with some work-arounds or limitations), now kind folks at Sun have actually worked to ensure that things "just work", and tested that this is the case (including working with Woodstox developers to address potential areas of incompatibilities -- Woodstox version 3.2.1 is the one officially supported). Sweet!

I think this is good news all around: one of main benefits of standards-based components and APIs is the possibility of changing components easily. But given difficulties in both designing solid APIs and their specifications, and that of implementing any non-trivial JSR API, reality is that oftentimes this is not realized.

Things actually are once again picking up for Stax API it seems: other recent developments are:

  • Apparently BEA is improving their implementation (which is not just the reference implementation, as I had though -- apparently RI and their current implementation branched a while ago and have been developing separately). So maybe there will soon be 3 high quality implementations available? (or if BEA's implementation is already good, I'd like to hear from its users!)
  • There is (finally!) actual work afoot to define version 1.1 of the core Stax specification. This may be minimal update to fix some of loosely defined parts, but hopefully it kickstarts work to get to real improvements, as in 2.0.
  • There are preliminary discussions to work on experimental types access/output methods on top of Stax API: discussions will take place on Stax builders mailing list. This would be especially beneficial for things like SOAP processing.

Next up: I'm finally setting up StaxMate home page at Codehaus, to cut first official (1.0?) release!

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