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Just a Little JXTA Muse

Posted by turbogeek on August 9, 2003 at 11:18 PM PDT

Blog Away

Am I crazy? I write books, mentor, and architect code (oh and code what I design). I also like to juggle knives, torches, MS XP CD’s, and other implements of mass destruction. I run a couple of Java user groups, and of course, I am a Java guy. And now I blog, therefore I am.

A blog can be a diary, soap box, and a place of information. You might get the first two here, but information is my goal. Be warned my passions are Java and JXTA… and very, very bad puns. With any luck the info will keep you coming back for more...despite the bad puns.

For today's blog, on the off chance that you have not heard about JXTA, let me introduce you.

JXTA I Suppose

It’s amazing to me that every few months there is yet another Java API. Between Sun and the open source community, it’s hard to keep up. But what’s important and what gives you the most bang for the buck? I believe that JXTA is worth your effort. Oh, JXTA is short for Juxtapose.

What the heck is JXTA? Simply it is a way to interconnect home and work PC’s together. Sounds simple, but it really isn’t. The first problem is the barrier to addressing most PC’s. With NAT, DHCP, and firewalls, most PC’s cannot see each other. Web pages, email, and instant messaging are our key protocols, but they suck for applications. Worse is that to host more than a web page costs a lot of money.

Another problem with today's internet, even if you can address millions of computers, how do you find the one you want? Looking for the right data, service, or person? There is no Google for your neighbor’s PC. What if you want to talk with a group of computers? How do you constrain the messages to ‘just’ those PC’s? The more computers there are, the harder it gets.

JXTA solves the addressing problem and has some of the tools for the second. JXTA is a Peer-to-Peer protocol and API developed by Sun, and its also an open source community. JXTA includes routing, message delivery, addressing, and more for P2P computing.

Why JXTA? With JXTA, anyone can create and deploy an Internet application without laying out a load of cash. You no longer need to have a web site and an application server to do interesting applications on the web. JXTA lets you do very interesting and powerful applications with just your PC and those you interact with. It is the missing link that lets anyone write an Internet application. JXTA is the Internet for the masses.

Are servers dead then? Not at all because they still have their place. JXTA can reduce or eliminate your dependence on them. There is a point where having to pay out cash is inevitable, but you can do a whole lot for a lot less and many applications will need no server to be a success.

Sometimes servers do make sense. If you need a central authority for credit card transactions or connecting to the database to check inventories. For these types of things, mixing P2P with the normal web infrastructure of servers and especially web services makes sense and will cost less in infrastructure than just web-based applications.

There is more protocol magic in JXTA like message relays, dynamic routing, and of course a little security. JXTA is also language neutral, so it is more than just Java. I’d explain it all here, but I have a whole book for that. There are a few articles on the net and other JXTA books too. Plenty of resources for learning JXTA. I plan on making this blog yet another place to look for ideas and information about JXTA and P2P.

Time for you to learn a little JXTA. Head to jxta.org, to learn more about JXTA.

If you can really connect any computer in the world, there is a key problem of which one? We'll talk about that soon. Stay tuned!

Punishment

What came first, the chicken or the egg?

The egg.

A chicken must first eggzist!!!

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