Jetty is moving to Eclipse! Someone asked me what I thought about this.  Well, as the Eclipse Runtime PMC co-lead how could I not be thrilled with this direction? This is a bold move by a very competent and exciting team with great technology. It is awesome for the runtime movement at Eclipse and really completes the lower level picture of our componentized server  side story.

Before I go too far, let’s nip any rumours in the bud.  Jetty is not moving to be OSGi based. That might be „a good thing“™ but Jetty appears to be meeting its goals with the current architecture. They are however taking OSGi integration seriously.

Several years ago we used Tomcat inside the Eclipse SDK for providing help content.  This worked but was big and a clumsy. Then someone, might have been Simon Kaegi, had the bright idea of using Jetty.  Same difference right? That’s what I thought.  I was wrong.

The most important characteristic is that Jetty is designed to be highly embeddable.  It is not the container to end all containers but rather an element of the solution. This fit really well into both the Eclipse mentality and our particular usecase. Jetty is small, light-weight and performant. You can spin up a Jetty instance whenever you want.

With Jetty at Eclipse we get several things.

Even without moving to OSGi there is room for improved integration. The various HTTP and server related OSGi-specs have been around for a while and could use some updating. The Jetty team with their involvement in the Servlet 3.0 spec and deep experience are well positioned to, say, provide an OSGi HTTP Service implementation that exposes more modern servlet function.

Deeper integration with Equinox and perhaps even lighter-weight configurations for particular Eclipse needs may also be possible.

Little known is that the Jetty folks also do client transports. There is potential there for some even better install performance for p2 and other web intensive aspects of Eclipse.

I for one am looking forward to working with the Jetty folks on all of these.

The story is not onesided IMHO.  For Jetty this is a really smart move.  Being part of the Eclipse ecosystem positions Jetty in a whole new realm of consumers. The rigor of the Eclipse IP and release policies will no doubt add to the already stable view of Jetty. The increased attention likely to be paid to it by the Eclipse ecosystem, sharing in the buzz around the Eclipse brand, release trains, conferences and overall adoption of Eclipse can only be good.

In short, welcome to the fold…