Today I attended the Einführung in die OSGi Service Platform (Introduction to the OSGi service platform) power workshop at w-jax 2008 in Munich. I had hoped to get some more detailed insight into using that stuff in practice. While the workshop was clearly not a waste of time I was a little disappointed about the lack of practical relevance. The workshop was packed with about 50 people - with only 20 registrations.
The first 90 minutes were spent installing Eclipse 3.4 and the Equinox SDK onto the participants' laptops. That time could have been put to better use had the session description not only told to bring a machine prepared with Java 5 but with the whole stack installed. So we had to hand around 5 CDs an some pen drives to get everyone up and ready.
After that and some introductory words about OSGi we went through increasingly "complex" examples and tutorials. Though I understand the idea to explain the inner workings of bundle lifecycle, Activators, package im-/exports and ServiceTrackers in great detail, the examples were really simple and did not display the use of the features in "real world" scenarios.
While I found my understanding of the OSGi services stuff confirmed, I think it was a little sad for those who had no idea about OSGi before, because I doubt the potential of the platform became clear and from what I can tell many people see the whole stack with a lot of scepticism.
Tomorrow I'll attend several sessions about OSGi, one of them about how to port existing applications to OSGi. I hope this will be a little more in-depth.