So many questions, so little time...
1. How in the world is Jxta a "direct threat" to dot Net?
Dot Net is consuming man-centuries and billions of dollars
in software development and marketing. Jxta is like a box
"As previously reported by CNET News.com, the project is a direct
threat to .Net, Microsoft's effort to make its Windows operating
system the future foundation of the Internet. Jxta is the latest
in a long line of Sun projects designed to reduce operating
systems such as Windows to mere cogs while people write software
that works at a higher level."
2. Does "The Open-Source Community" (TM) have reason to
trust the company that gave the world Sloaris?
"What's in it for Sun is a peer-to-peer infrastructure on which
higher-level commercial applications can operate, Joy said."
3. What's in p2p for Sun is what's in it for Intel: a way to
get people to buy more machines, right?
4. What does the phrase "infinitely complicated" mean?
"This will probably be part of the Sun One platform, but will
probably be one of the simplest pieces," Joy said. "We're not
turning this into something that's infinitely complicated like
5. If Jxta is one of the "simplest pieces of Sun ONE",
how complicated *are* they planning on making ONE, anyhow?
6a. How can they have a whole article on Sun's p2p effort
without mentioning SOAP at all?
6b. How can Sun invent an entirely new proxy-based architecture
for p2p instead of employing the Web?
7. What's with the gratuitous analogy between herding cats and
"harnessing the energy" of open-source developers?
"It's not easy to harness the energy of open-source programmers.
`We're not unaware that trying to build these communities and
getting people to work together is harder than writing code or
even starting a business,` Joy said."
8. When they say Napster has been the "most successful" p2p
effort so far... well, how much revenue *has* Napster generated,
anyhow? Where's Napster being used in mission-critical software
applications? And where are the companies that can't conduct
business without Napster?
"Although many of these discrete services operate perfectly well
on their own -- Napster being the most successful, of course --
peer-to-peer developers and investors are increasingly calling for
some kind of bridge."
9. How does Clay Shirky get quoted so much? He's everywhere...
"The risk we face is a maze of balkanized networks," Clay Shirky,
a partner at venture capital firm Accelerated Ventures, said in a
keynote speech at the O'Reilly conference Wednesday. "We need to
talk about interoperability."
10. Why does the following statement imply complexity to the CNET writers?
"These developers are dreaming of a much more complex network, in
which individual computers, wireless phones, powerful servers and
databases all work together to offer new kinds of Web services,
whether they are software services offered remotely or interactive
sharing programs like Napster and Gnutella."
Web services don't need to be complicated. In fact, to get widely
adopted and used, they're going to have to be simple to use. (And
provide instant gratification to the developer and/or author!)
> Sun enlists peer-to-peer in war against Microsoft
> By Stephen Shankland and John Borland
> Staff Writers, CNET News.com
> February 15, 2001, 1:15 p.m. PT
> SAN FRANCISCO--Sun Microsystems unveiled Thursday a project designed to
> undermine Microsoft's power and make its own software the center of one
> of the Net's most dynamic new movements.
> The software, called Jxta and pronounced "juxta," is Sun's contribution
> to the much-hyped "peer-to-peer" technology made famous by file-swapping
> programs such as Napster.
> Bill Joy, Sun's chief scientist, announced the Jxta software project
> Thursday at the O'Reilly Peer to Peer conference here, exhorting outside
> programmers to help standardize Jxta as the basic plumbing for building
> new peer-to-peer applications.
> As previously reported by CNET News.com, the project is a direct threat
> to .Net, Microsoft's effort to make its Windows operating system the
> future foundation of the Internet. Jxta is the latest in a long line of
> Sun projects designed to reduce operating systems such as Windows to
> mere cogs while people write software that works at a higher level.
> Sun hopes to enlist one of Microsoft's worst foes, the open-source
> community, in the Jxta effort. Jxta will be open-source software,
> meaning that anyone can modify and redistribute the software without
> restriction. The open-source community has challenged not just Microsoft
> but also Sun with successes such as the Linux operating system and the
> Apache Web server.
> What's in it for Sun is a peer-to-peer infrastructure on which
> higher-level commercial applications can operate, Joy said.
> "We have some distributed applications we'd like to run," he said.
> Jxta will include standards for how devices in a peer-to-peer network
> identify themselves and are grouped together, Joy said. It also will
> include a security mechanism to ensure that distributed programs don't
> harm the device they're running on, Joy said, in contrast to the e-mail
> viruses that afflict networked Windows systems.
> Mike Clary, head of the Jxta project, said the software will include
> ways that computing tasks can be linked together in "pipelines" that
> span a peer-to-peer network. In addition, Jxta will offer a mechanism by
> which tasks can be monitored and controlled.
> Taking on Microsoft
> Jxta fits into Sun's vision of the future of the Internet, called Sun
> One. "This will probably be part of the Sun One platform, but will
> probably be one of the simplest pieces," Joy said. "We're not turning
> this into something that's infinitely complicated like (Microsoft's) .Net."
> The new project walks a fine line between attempting to control the
> burgeoning new peer-to-peer technology world and leaving it open to the
> whims of smaller developers.
> Joy disclaimed any desire to control the new market. Jxta is meant
> simply as a lingua franca that will let separate peer-to-peer
> applications work in concert with one other, he said.
> "We don't want to have a standards body," Joy said. "We are not here
> trying to get everyone to license this like we're doing with Java. We
> don't necessarily even want to be the center of this."
> Nevertheless, the first release of Jxta--due out in April on the
> CollabNet site, Joy said--will be code-written under the direction of
> Sun and Joy's team. And it's not easy to foresee any other company or
> set of developers taking the same kind of role, even in an ostensibly
> open-source project, that a company with the market power of Sun has.
> Jxta already has some competition as a unified effort. Intel has
> sponsored a peer-to-peer working group that is already aiming at
> creating standards for peer-to-peer applications. Although the effort
> initially proved controversial, the group has already begun work.
> Learning from past mistakes
> Sun no doubt hopes Jxta will be more successful than its predecessors --
> two other Sun brainchildren, Java and Jini -- in luring the help of the
> open-source movement.
> Well after Java and Jini were created, Sun tried to attract the
> attention of the open-source community by retrofitting the tools with
> half-shared, half-proprietary software licenses.
> But it's not easy to harness the energy of open-source programmers.
> "We're not unaware that trying to build these communities and getting
> people to work together is harder than writing code or even starting a
> business," Joy said.
> Java, unveiled in 1995, was Sun's first attempt to bypass Microsoft.
> Java's promise, only partly fulfilled six years later, is to let
> programs run on any type of computer -- Windows, Linux, or anything else
> with the proper Java foundation.
> Jini, announced in 1999, was designed as a way to get gadgets such as
> digital cameras and printers to communicate without requiring computers
> to act as an intermediary. Despite Sun's promises, though, Jini has
> largely been a commercial flop.
> Joy said Jxta will run well on Java-enabled devices, but won't require
> Java as a foundation. Here again, Sun appears to be learning from its
> mistakes: The company is working on a revised version of Jini that also
> doesn't require Java.
> Humpty Dumpty in reverse
> Sun's project may be the most ambitious effort yet to bring together a
> young peer-to-peer world that is quickly fragmenting into dozens of
> different networks.
> Although many of these discrete services operate perfectly well on their
> own--Napster being the most successful, of course--peer-to-peer
> developers and investors are increasingly calling for some kind of bridge.
> "The risk we face is a maze of balkanized networks," Clay Shirky, a
> partner at venture capital firm Accelerated Ventures, said in a keynote
> speech at the O'Reilly conference Wednesday. "We need to talk about
> This goal, in many of the most ambitious peer-to-peer developers' minds,
> would be to allow the Net to move a stage beyond today's Internet, which
> consists largely of tapping into simple text, video or audio services on
> a Web site or basic services such as e-commerce.
> These developers are dreaming of a much more complex network, in which
> individual computers, wireless phones, powerful servers and databases
> all work together to offer new kinds of Web services, whether they are
> software services offered remotely or interactive sharing programs like
> Napster and Gnutella.
.sig "Early 90's Rock" double play!
"Too bad," people say. "What's wrong with the kids today?" I tell you right now they've got nothing to lose. They're building empires. -- Queensryche, "Empire"
How does it feel to be the only one who knows that you're right? -- Jellyfish, "The Ghost at Number One"
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