Learning a new framework is not always straightforward. In this section, we (the Spring DM/Gemini Blueprint team) tried to provide, what we think is, an easy to follow guide for starting with Gemini Blueprint. Of course, feel free to create your own learning 'path' as you see fit and, if possible, please report back any improvements to the documentation that can help others.
As explained in Chapter 2, Why Gemini Blueprint?, Gemini Blueprint provides integration between Spring framework and OSGi. Thus, it is important to become acquainted with both of these frameworks (libraries or environments depending on how you want to name them). Throughout the Gemini Blueprint documentation, each section provides links to resources relevant however, it is best to become familiar with these topics beforehand.
Gemini Blueprint uses heavily Spring framework's core functionalty, such as the IoC container, resource abstraction and AOP infrastructure. While it is not important to know the Spring framework APIs, understanding the concepts behind them is. At a minimum, the idea behind IoC should be familiar. That being said, the more knowledge you have about Spring framework, the faster you will pick Gemini Blueprint. Besides the comprehensive documentation that explains the Spring Framework in detail, there are a lot of articles, blog entries and books on the topic - take a look at the Spring framework home page for more information. In general, this should be the starting point for OSGi (or Eclipse plugin) developers wanting to try Gemini Blueprint.
Java developers, new to OSGi, can start by reading the OSGi Alliance introduction, the OSGi specifications or one of the articles/blogs available on the internet (such as the SpringSource blogs). Additionally, the Gemini Blueprint home page hosts various links to useful materials.
As an alternative to the recommended Spring documentation, if OSGi 4.2 is an option, one can read the Blueprint Container specification for a quick introduction to dependency injection and Gemini Blueprint functionality. Note that Blueprint is a subset of Spring and Gemini Blueprint and we recommend the official documentation to get access to the whole set of features.
If you encounter issues or you are just looking for advice, feel free to use one of the links below:
The Gemini Blueprint forum (and the previous Spring DM forum) is a message board for all Gemini Blueprint users to share information and help each other. Note that registration is needed only for posting.
Professional, from-the-source support, with guaranteed response time, is available from SpringSource, the company behind Gemini Blueprint and Spring.
For information on the Gemini Blueprint source code repository, nightly builds and snapshot artifacts please see the Gemini Blueprint home page.
You can help make Gemini Blueprint best serve the needs of the Spring community by interacting with developers through the Spring Community forums.
If you encounter a bug or want to suggest an improvement, please create a ticket on the Gemini Blueprint issue tracker.
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