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Network enabling Java apps

Posted by daniel on March 25, 2004 at 6:49 AM PST

What if Jini was part of J2SE?

Apple's iPhoto was a nice application for organizing and viewing your digital images. It is a nice stand-alone desktop application. But many computers are connected to the network. What if there are people on your network who also have iPhoto and you would like to share pictures with them? Apple's Rendezvous made it pretty easy for photo sharing to be added to iPhoto. Every Mac has Rendezvous so every Mac with iPhoto has the ability to discover nearby Mac users who want to share their pictures. The piece provided by Rendezvous is the service discovery. Windows and Mac users have taken advantage of this to stream music in iTunes.

As Java developers we need to ask similar questions for our desktop applications. How could these applications be enhanced if we could connect to other willing users on a local network. Jini and Rendezvous are not the same - they actually complement each other in important ways - but Jini is also a service discovery mechanism. What if we could Jini enable our Java applications? With grid computing getting more popular, we could set up dynamic local grids easily using Java Spaces.

One problem with this scenario is that it requires that users download and install Jini. Then there are the start up and configuration issues. Why not make Jini part of J2SE? Even though Jini can also be used for enterprise computing, I am not suggesting that it be part of the J2EE distribution. My mom's Mac comes with Java 1.4.2 pre-installed. If Jini was on her machine, there would be no barrier to me Jini enabling applications that she could run. It could be that I've spent the week here at the Jini community meetings, but this just seems like a simple to execute step that would benefit Java users and Jini developers.


In
Also in Java Today
, JavaWorld has returned with a different set of offerings. The Java 101 column is being presented as a weblog. Jeff Friesen's "Taming the Tiger" presents a companion to Gilad Bracha's generics tutorial. Friesen makes a small correction to the tutorial and presents a small demo program without comments or commentary. The code is also not formatted as one might expect.

TheServerSide is running a discussion titled Spring Framework 1.0 final released. "Spring 1.0 is a complete Java/J2EE application framework, covering the following functionality: lightweight container, AOP support, JDBC abstraction, source-level metadata, MVC web framework, and much more." In addition Craig Walls provides a link to an early version of a Spring module for XDoclet.


In today's Weblogs , James Gosling points to a blog attacking his RSS feed readers. In It's so easy to be annoying, James reminds readers that JNN was just a weekend hack. He was having fun writing a bit of code. I appreciate that Gosling was willing to share his efforts freely but John Munsch has taken offense and has written an angry blog. Gosling writes "Life's too short to spend it wound up in a knot of needless fury."

Simon Brown shares a look at TagUnit and code coverage with Clover. His goal was to run "the instrumented code (that Clover generates) inside a J2EE container. So, to satisfy my curiosity, after a quick bit of Ant hacking the instrumented code was running inside Tomcat and updating the coverage database while my TagUnit tests were running."

Chris DiBona is not pleased with Scott McNealy's comments that Java will not be open sourced. In Scott is Wrong About Open Sourcing Java, But we Knew That Going Into This, Chris writes "Sun did something very good and very important by open sourcing Star Office. I don't see why the wisdom applied to that decision isn't being applied here."

Consider McNealy's comment "We're trying to understand what problem does it solve that is not already solved". There are arguments on both sides of the open sourcing Java issue that have written thoughtful comments here on java.net. Rather than taking offense at McNealy, take the above quote as a question and present answers about what problems open sourcing Java would provide that is not currently answered. To be fair, also consider additional problems that could arise by doing so.


In today's Projects and Communities , the Java Desktop community has introduced a new feature called Swing Depot which "lists a few high-quality collections of components that you can use alongside standard Swing components"

The NetBeans community maintains a list of modules. Categories include Java Tools, Java, Database, XML, Refactoring, and Distributed Application Support.


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