Digital Magpie

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Oh, Such a Good Infrastructure

Now that the 1.6 release of RvSnoop is out of the door (OK, 1.6.1 ‘cause of a wart inthe original release), there are certain features that I’d like to see added, and for the 2.0 release I want to have in place a foundation that will make it easier to add these. A full list of features can be found in the plan file in the RvSnoop Subversion repository, but some of the big ones that will impact the overall architecture of RvSnoop are:

Pluggable Persistence

Mechanism I’m going to migrate the record ledger to being persistent, there are a couple of options here as to how this will be handled: flat files, a combination of flat files and Lucene based indexes, or some kind of JDBC backed store.

One option would be to make the persistence mechanism plug-able, this would also ease the use of an all-in-memory storage system, like the one that is currently used (which is useful when you just want to use RvSnoop as a graphical replacement for tibrvlisten).

Able to Run Headless

I’d like to add the ability to run RvSnoop without the UI, this would be based on loading a pre-configured project. Combining this feature with a JDBC backed store this could be really useful for auditing and logging messages.

EMS Support

I registered the domain at the same time as, and there has been a project on SourceForge for a while, even if it hasn’t had anything checked in to it yet! An open question is whether to try for generic JMS support or just work with EMS directly.

User Written Plug-ins

It would be nice to be able to cleanly extend RvSnoop if required, without going back and modifying the main code base.

So, What About 2.0?

All (well, most) of these features point to a need for an extensible plug-in system, Eclipse has shown that a good way of architecting a desktop application (or any application, for that matter) is to build it entirely from plug-ins wrapped around a small core. So, the upshot of this is that I’m planning on migrating to a managed runtime, probably OSGi, for the 2.0 release. I’ll talk about this more in another post. In particular, what’s the cost/benefit ratio of using this type of runtime; and which runtimes are good?