Gosling's dream of Jini
(IDG) -- The lead developer behind the drive to build a distributed computing infrastructure for Java on Wednesday loosely outlined the driving principles behind Sun Microsystems' next-generation Jini project.
Jini is an overarching project designed to make Java computing pervasive by relying on a set of distributed computing services, rather than specific applications and servers, said Sun vice president James Gosling during a keynote presentation at the Software Development East conference in Washington.
To accomplish this, Sun is proposing to borrow distributed computing concepts that were first postulated over a decade ago, when researchers at Yale University created a distributed object computing infrastructure known then as Project Linda.
Because of a lack of bandwidth, the Yale effort never achieved commercial success. But since then, networks have become much more robust, Gosling said.
Sun's work will draw heavily on its JavaSpaces research, which Gosling describes as an implementation of the concepts developed at Yale that makes greater use of recent advances in object technology such as Java.
"JavaSpaces is essentially a facility for communicating tasks out and bringing job back," Gosling said. "The work at Yale focused mostly on data, but today we can just move objects in and out of JavaSpaces."
According to Gosling, IT shops should be able build and run applications that leverage all the distributed system horsepower on a network to run supercomputer-class applications by using JavaSpaces to manage those interactions.
Furthermore, Gosling said that if you think about what a network directory really is, you could argue that directories are just a service where you manage and store objects.
"If you think about it, a directory can really be an instance of JavaSpaces" Gosling said.
Sun is not expected to formally outline its Jini initiative or the role of JavaSpaces technology until this fall, but most industry observers see it as the primary means through which the company will move to blunt Microsoft's Windows Everywhere strategy.
Microsoft is at least two years away from developing a similar distributed computing architecture, code-named Project Millennium.
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