Roundup and Outlook
The BSF infrastructure and the functionality of the BSF engines make it possible to fully interact with Java objects from scripts, even in programming languages that are not based on Java themselves, as is the case for Rexx. The IBM version of BSF even runs on Java 1.1, whereas the Apache (Jakarta) version needs at least Java 1.3.
The forthcoming Java scripting standard (JSR-223) will restrict the scripting abilities to the next version of Java, so application developers won't be able to deploy scriptable Java applications on earlier versions. In this respect, BSF can be of great practical help, as it's a proven Java framework that gets deployed in industry-strength application systems such as IBM's WebSphere.
The Jakarta BSF group plans to work on a JSR-223 implementation of BSF, which would bring a compatible set of scripting interfaces to BSF users. Such a version would relieve Java application developers from having to force their customer base to the next version of Java, and rather allow them to deploy their applications in customer environments that deploy older versions of Java—yet allow them to take full advantage of scripting Java applications.