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Sun Microsystems

Sun, Jxta And Promises 51

A reader writes: "There's a publically available article on the WSJ online regarding Sun and the Jxtra launch. But the interesting part is the spin on Jxta as Jini, essentially repackaged. The article also gets into Jxta trying to ride on the coattails of the 'p2p' success. Good article."
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Sun, Jxta and Promises

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    I wish Jxta was a repackaging of Jini, because at least Jxta is under the Apache rather than the rediculous SCSL license. All that Jxta provides is unreliable asynchronous messaging (hello UDP?) and at least Jini provides lookup/discovery, leasing, events, and transactions.
  • 1050 - The digital computer

    1980 - The home computer

    1995 - The Internet

    Not every new technology is a "push" - I think that your claim that P2P is a fad requires somewhat more justification.

    --

  • by Sanity ( 1431 ) on Monday June 04, 2001 @10:55AM (#177525) Homepage Journal
    The Trouble with JXTA [openp2p.com] is Adam Langley's (a freenet developer) take on JXTA for OpenP2P.com.

    --

    • What does Jxta let me do that nothing else can do?
    I don't know, what does Apache let you do that nothing else can do?
    • Writing a P2P app isn't rocket science; a freshman CS major can probably do a decent job of it.
    Yes, but there are certain disadvantages to having such a "one-off" P2P infrastructure. Working within a framework instead leverages other people's efforts and provides opportunity for cooperation or interoperability between unrelated efforts.

    A freshman CS major can write a working web server, but but running Apache, I get a framework which offers me access to mod_perl, mod_php and mod_jserv, so I can employ the power of Perl, PHP or Java, respectively. This flexibility and standardization was not an accident but a specific design goal.

    I'm not disagreeing about JTXA -- it might fizzle; it's just not as pointless as you depict it.

    • When Apache came out, it ... was the first really usable, supported web server.
    I suppose that the NCSA web server I'd been running, featuring everything offered by the first Apache release, doesn't count... because, why?
    • ...frameworks are boring. ... Show me something USING that framework that can't be done with anything else out there, and I'm interested.
    While you are reading this (or, I suspect, having it read to you while you stare at the animated GIFs and drool), you are looking at the net result of a framework dubbed "The World Wide Web." Everyone and their grandmother has invented other frameworks that do the same thing. Why don't you do everyone a huge favor and stop using this "boring" framework and go do something interesting, like sitting in a corner and stroking a peice of felt. That seems about your speed.
    • Jxta (the reason for this thread) does nothing useful at launch, and it solves a problem for which many people already have good solutions. In short, it's going nowhere.
    If you're right (I haven't really looked at JTXA to see either way), then I agree.

    It's amazing how a factual observation can actually advance your point of view. "Frameworks are boring" pegged the meter on the idiot-o-meter.

    Now go play with your felt.

    • Only the geeks care about the frameworks. This is a point which is often lost on geeks.
    This is getting waaay off topic, but I think that geeks are painfully aware that many of the things they care about are only important to them. That's the whole point of Slashdot, fool. It's a forum for exactly the kind of people who are likely to think that frameworks are cool.

    JTXA may be a non-event in the greater scheme of things, but clearly this forum serves a community of people who tend to find these things newsworthy. You do know what site this is, right?

  • The Internet is decentralized.

    Maybe we could throw it all on one server.

    Take a look at SwarmCast, Freenet, ...
    There's a lot of cool stuff going on in the
    P2P space.

    -Kevin
  • by smileyy ( 11535 ) <smileyy@gmail.com> on Monday June 04, 2001 @01:48PM (#177531)
    a freshman CS major can probably do a decent job of [writing a peer-to-peer app]

    You overestimate 95% of freshman CS majors.

  • I don't know, what does Apache let you do that nothing else can do?

    When Apache came out, it was revolutionary. It was the first really usable, supported web server. That was 1995, the same year that Java was released. 1995 was a big year for the web.

    Working within a framework instead leverages other people's efforts and provides opportunity for cooperation or interoperability between unrelated efforts.

    Yes, but frameworks are boring. Everyone and their grandmother has built a framework at one time or another. Show me something USING that framework that can't be done with anything else out there, and I'm interested.

    -jon

  • I suppose that the NCSA web server I'd been running, featuring everything offered by the first Apache release, doesn't count... because, why?

    Take a look at the Apache web site to get the chronology. NCSA's httpd was the basis for Apache. But httpd was a toy. Apache is a real, enterprise class solution. Apache probably didn't start to take off until httpd's limitations were apparent to everyone. Then the fact that it was free and robust made it the de facto web server.

    While you are reading this (or, I suspect, having it read to you while you stare at the animated GIFs and drool), you are looking at the net result of a framework dubbed "The World Wide Web." Everyone and their grandmother has invented other frameworks that do the same thing. Why don't you do everyone a huge favor and stop using this "boring" framework and go do something interesting, like sitting in a corner and stroking a peice of felt. That seems about your speed.

    HTML/HTTP are as unique as Java (i.e., it's not). Both are ideas that had been around for a long time, and had been implemented poorly before. But they were in the right place, at the right time, and had very cool things available at their launch to demonstrate their usefulness. Jxta (the reason for this thread) does nothing useful at launch, and it solves a problem for which many people already have good solutions. In short, it's going nowhere.

    -jon

  • "Frameworks are boring" pegged the meter on the idiot-o-meter.

    Frameworks are boring. Users don't use frameworks, they use applications built on frameworks. Only the geeks care about the frameworks. This is a point which is often lost on geeks.

    -jon

  • by TWR ( 16835 ) on Monday June 04, 2001 @10:44AM (#177535)
    I downloaded the Jxta docs the day it came out, and as I was looking through it,

    Sun seems to have forgotten the reason why Java took off. Java was doing something amazing in 1995. There was a tiny program running in a browser, and the same program running on both Windows and Solaris. This was something new. Of course, applets haven't worked so well in non-trivial cases, but it got interest going in Java.

    Compare this to Jxta. What does Jxta let me do that nothing else can do? Writing a P2P app isn't rocket science; a freshman CS major can probably do a decent job of it. Maybe if Sun had released the Jxta killer app along with Jxta, it might be more interesting. For now, though, it looks like it's probably going to fizzle out.

    -jon

  • Absolutely true, and furthermore there is no shitty code whatsoever written in C or Perl.
  • At leaset I could attempt to pronounce Jini, even if I wasn't sure if it was jin-ee, or jean-ee (those are American English vowel sounds).

    --
  • Of course if I were to read through the story I would expect to see a pronounciation. But being that Java isn't that much interest to me.

    So as a casual observer I'd have no clue how to pronounce it. Unless they lable everything, "Jxta -- pronounced JUX-tah, as in 'juxtapose'".

    --
  • Gobe


    Could be Goh - beh (Japanese style)

    Could be Gohb (weird English-style silent 'e' making a long 'o' such as globe)


    ??

  • by lgraba ( 34653 ) on Monday June 04, 2001 @01:04PM (#177540)
    No, as I recall, the license fees for Jini only kicked in when you started selling devices with Jini on them, and then it was only to the tune of $0.10 per device, or a one-time fee of $100,000 or $200,000 for those who would be selling millions of devices. These fees have recently been removed completely.

    I don't know about an open source version of Jini, but I do know that there is a vendor that has built an independant version of Jini (http://www.prosyst.com), and another company that built an independant Jini Look-up server. Sun didn't squash those efforts.

    I agree with Bill Venners, who was quoted in the article. Sun marketed Jini as an infrastructure that would tie together all sorts of devices. The trouble was, it is still the case that you need a lot of RAM and ROM on a node to host Jini, unless you use some sort of surrogate architecture. With arrival of the Connected Device Configuration (CDC) and the expected arrival of the RMI profile, you soon will be able to host Jini on smaller devices but it still will take 2-3 meg. of memory.

    I also think that it is premature to dismiss Jini as a failure. I am seeing more and more products in the pipeline that are using Jini, and it is also seeing more use in enterprise-type applications. Did it take over the world? No. Is it being abandoned by early adopters? Again I think, no.

    I think that the above post is yet another reason to not rely on a Slashdot posting for your information. There may be some gems, but the above posting has a pretty low accuracy level.
  • Of course there is. However, I can't imagine one oracle-to-web session manager of ANYTHING written in C taking up 203 MB of RAM. Thats one session manager! ONE!

    This isnt to say there isnt bad code in other languages. Its also not to say that there isnt good code in Java. Its just examples of tightly written code in java, in my experience, isn't easy to come by.

  • 1) Fact: Systems have a limited amount of RAM. In this system, its 4GB.

    2) Observance: Things tend to go faster if they are written in an optimizing fashon.

    3) Corollary: Smaller resident RAM sizes == Faster/More processes in same space. Not neccesarily true in all cases, but in this one, we'll assume.

    4) Opinion: Java is sloppy. Java is big.

    5) Java is interpreted. Interpreted software typically runs slower than compiled software.

  • dude, this point is so 1996.
    And it's as true today as it was in 1996.

    you are entitled to egregiously false opinions ;-)

    203 MB for a single java process. If you consider that "Small", i'd hate to run whatever it is you're running.

    Too bad ur thinking is primitive!
    I might have taken this personally, until I realized the phrase "ur" in what you said and deducted twenty clue points.
    Java need not be used for huge, enterprise applications that aren't even designed with portability in mind. the medicine doesnt fit the problem. And every time i've seen java used to write something big, i've hardly been impressed.
  • by kbonin ( 58917 ) on Monday June 04, 2001 @11:12AM (#177544) Homepage
    Java took off in part because it was free. One of the reason JINI flopped so hard, unlike Java, was that it was a technology tied to licensing agreements intended to make Sun money.

    They patented key aspects of their discovery and RPC mechanism, and developers I know who wanted to use it in products paid license fees starting in the tens of thousands of $.

    Sun even squashed an open source developer trying to distribute a free version of JINI.

    JXTA is their attempt to get back mindshare and clout in the agent space, where other P2P groups have left them far behind. Its still insufficient for most interesting applications.
  • You know, I was just rambling about that in this post [slashdot.org].
  • Go. Be.

    Not intuitive at all (at least, not to me).
  • Hmmm. You know, I've played the piano for years, but I never once thought of connecting C# with a musical reference . . .

    *shrugs*

    OK, yeah, that makes sense.
  • Sun is billing Jxta -- pronounced JUX-tah, as in "juxtapose" . . .
  • Slightly offtopic, but a legitimate question: why are we seeing companies selling products that have no intuitive pronunciation? C#, Jxta, Gobe (OK, a company name, but still . . .), etc. How do you get someone to order something or even communicate with a sales representative in your standard brick-and-mortar store if nobody knows how to pronounce your product's name?
  • I can't counter the jini comment, but in regards to Sun's answer to .NET:

    Sun Open Net Environment [sun.com]

    I just got back from JavaOne and Sun has got some pretty cool stuff coming down the pipe. On top of that, a lot of the things talked about were Open Source projects and how great Sun thinks the Open Source community is.

    A recent Sun fanboy,
    psxndc

  • The Wall Street Journal writes: "Today, not a single Jini consumer device is on sale anywhere. A Sun spokeswoman acknowledges that none are on the drawing boards, either."

    That's pathetic. They couldn't even get it into some niche market, like pro audio, rail transit, point of sale systems, or copy protection. Nor are they fielding a viable competitor to Microsoft's ".NET".

  • Forgot to hit AC again?

    I know, I know. I hit the karma cap long ago, so it costs me a karma point when a posting gets moderated down, but I don't get any points when one gets moderated up. I hate that.

    As for Sun, my point was that they didn't even get Jini into some narrow market. There are specialized networking markets. Echelon/LonWorks (the home control system, not the eavesdropping system) found a niche in rail transit, controlling signs, HVAC, lighting, and such. Lone Wolf's MediaLink audio and control protocol controlled the gear for some major rock groups, until Paul Allen bought the company and broke it. (The phrase "the hell that is a Paul Allen company" appeared in print). But Jini didn't even get that far.

    The problem was probably that Jini was too complicated, flexible, and dynamic for industrial control, where stuff has to work and keep working for decades. And since Sun isn't a consumer products company, they couldn't put it in their own end-user products. All Sun offered was a tool set, which is a weak position from which to launch a major new technology that isn't really needed.

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Monday June 04, 2001 @02:02PM (#177553) Homepage
    Sun has more launches than landings. Too much of their new stuff goes away, rather than reaching a solid, usable state. This is a problem.

    Remember Jini?

  • True. I doubt that 95% of recent CS graduates could do a decent job.

    -- Kris

  • Yeah, P2P is such a worthless fad -- wait, where did all these MP3s on my computer come from?
  • by Ars-Fartsica ( 166957 ) on Monday June 04, 2001 @11:25AM (#177556)
    Lets examine all of the scam fad watchwords of the modern internet era:

    1997 - Personalization

    1998 - Push

    1999 - Streaming Media

    2000 - WAP

    2001 - P2P

    Next year it will be the "X Internet". You can safely avoid all of these fads and still enjoy a healthy networked computing experience.

  • If you name your product something unique (like "Zope") you can find info on it easily with a search engine. This is something the allegedly computer-savvy Dave Winer has never figured out (see Frontier, Manila, and Radio).

    I'm not saying that they should be unpronouncable but they should be made-up trademarkable words (like Corolla, Camry, and Celica, for instance.)

    Curious George

  • Sun has more launches than landings. Too much of their new stuff goes away, rather than reaching a solid, usable state. This is a problem.

    I disagree. Failures are an inevitable part of being innovative. The trick is to learn from them, and to have enough skill or luck to succeed often enough to pay the bills while you tinker with bleeding-edge possibilities. How many filament materials did Edison try before he got the lightbulb working well enough to get rich selling them?

    --

  • by jonfromspace ( 179394 ) <jonwilkins.gmail@com> on Monday June 04, 2001 @10:42AM (#177559)
    My company [itpwebsolutions.com] is involved in the JXTA [jxta.org] innitiative, and while JXTA is not much to holler about yet, it is on its way. To have a set of protocols that allow not only groups of peers on a network to communicate, but other networks outside that group to interact, is a HUGE step for not only Peer-to-Peer technology, but for networking as a whole. While the jury is still out on the success of JXTA, it is projects like this that will shape the future of networking as a whole.

    Personally, I like it. But it will be up to the JXTA community to make it a reality. So far, their is progress, but still a ton of work to do.
  • there are enough evidence that the LOC of C/C++ and Java for a same application is almost same.

    Obviously, since Java has a nearly identical syntax to C++, well-written programs in both languages will have approximately the same number of lines. However, Java doesn't have cruft like operator overloading, resulting in incompherensible bugs when your junior programmer overloads =, [] and * just so that he can practice his mAd skillz.

    besides, there are C/C++ apps that matches every Java apps in real world, i don't see your point why hiring a Java programmer would be cost saving ?

    That's why everyone is rushing to implement their mission critical web server back-ends in C, I guess. [shrugs] Actually, I'm not sure what you meant by that, what kind of 'apps' are you talking about?

    did dot.com crash have something to do with Java/Jini/J++ ?

    No, but 'dot.com crash' apparently had something to do with logical fallacies.

  • The topic of conversation, I believe, was the amount of memory a Java program used on a server. So you can count out StarOffice and MS Office. Then, you realize that Apache is just a static web server with what basically amount to 'plug-ins' for dynamic content; not sure what C/C++ OR Java has to do with that. Finally, you have Linux and W2K, and as both are statically compiled OSes (programs, really) at their heart, the language they were written in is completely irrelevant.
  • That's because the cost savings of hiring a developer to write a Java program, which will be done in a 1/3 the time of an equivelant C++ program, is far, far greater than the savings gained by skimping on RAM. (let's see, one designer day is the difference between 64megs and 256megs on my server-class machine. But it makes much more since to hire a C++ developer for a week to shoe-horn it in 64 megs. Riiiight...)
  • Actually that's just not true.

    The JINI software libraries are available free, they can be distributed freely (under a license agreement) and if that's not enough for you, the specifications are open. Write your own. Pore through the source for the Sun implementations. All for free.

    JINI failed as a device connection architecture for other reasons, but just not what mentioned.

  • No one will probably read this post but anyhow .......

    Out of all the people criticising jini/jxta/p2p in general (i.e. most people above), how many of you have actually looked at jxta or read about it?

    Did you know that jxta is actually a "protocol" specfication based on xml. Maybe if they called it "pxta" or something without a damn J it wouldnt confuse you.

    Java is a nice language to implement jxta (of course) but jxta != java.

    jxta is *language independant". Implement it in perl if it turns you on.

    Taken straight from jxta.org [jxta.org]

    Project JXTA addresses the need for an open, generalized protocol that interoperates with any peer on the network including PCs, servers and other connected devices.

    Jxta might be a step forward and basing it on xml is a good idea IMHO. Im developing an xml messaging application (using SOAP) so yes Im interested in what jxta has to offer.

    It might be a total flop, who knows but don't write off something you haven't even looked at ...

    BTW, if any reading this is in the know. Does jxta hope to complement/support SOAP or replace it altogether???

  • 1050? Lord it took a long time for them to make it into the home.... (yes..I know it was a typo)
  • yep, we are people of the fickled...
  • there are enough evidence that the LOC of C/C++ and Java for a same application is almost same. besides, there are C/C++ apps that matches every Java apps in real world, i don't see your point why hiring a Java programmer would be cost saving ? did dot.com crash have something to do with Java/Jini/J++ ?
  • nice to share the law with us. glad to see this Jxta dead so quickly on this thread.
  • OK, i take my words back. there is absolutely no matches if we talk about number of real world software applications. C/C++ has Apache, Linux, W2K, StarOffice, MS Office.... what does Java have ?
  • Um... we have a multi million dollar J2ee app that handles 2 million contracts a day... Netbeans is pretty cool... Weblogic... millions of applets... of course no one is going to write an OS in java... well actually I take that back.. there is JavaOS and there is Java Hardware.. not to mention the iButton... my cell phone runs java... need more?
  • Ok so Sun 's new initiative is just as doomed as JINI. Remember Jini -- cool stuff , no apps and no one had an idea as to what to do with it? Same with Jxta -- soo now I can do remote async messaging -- yippity do ! What next ? Whereas MS is probably going to tie in Hailstorm to its MSN messenger and NetMeeting and Office. So if you develop an app for Hailstorm, you already have a target customerbase who is using one or more of the above. I mean developers like me could make globs of money: anyone know where to find a C# guide for Programmers who have sold their soul to Satan ?
  • Java is interpreted. Interpreted software typically runs slower than compiled software.

    dude, this point is so 1996.

    Opinion: Java is sloppy. Java is big

    you are entitled to egregiously false opinions ;-)

    1) Fact: Systems have a limited amount of RAM. In this system, its 4GB. 2) Observance: Things tend to go faster if they are written in an optimizing fashon.

    True ! I am surprised you can observe

    3) Corollary: Smaller resident RAM sizes == Faster/More processes in same space. Not neccesarily true in all cases, but in this one, we'll assume.
    Too bad ur thinking is primitive!
  • What does Jxta let me do that nothing else can do? Writing a P2P app isn't rocket science; a freshman CS major can probably do a decent job of it.

    Yes, and they do. Over and over again. In C. In C++. In C again. Using half a dozen open or half open toolkits. Using MFC. Reinventing the wheel again and again.

    I agree that Jxta will probably not make it. But the disease that it is trying to cure is real.

Real Programmers think better when playing Adventure or Rogue.

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