Posted on August 16, 1998 at 3:23:34 AM Central.

Jini in Context

Throughout the (short) history of computing, there have been two opposing driving forces. One is the incremental improvement of things that have come before; retaining compatibility while adding capabilities. The other is the revolutionary force that wants to wipe everything clean with a new paradigm. There are other forces, of course, but these are the interesting ones in this case.

The problem with new paradigms is that you have to re-write (or just throw away) all your old software. So if a revolutionary paradigm is going to make you re-write your software, it had better be a lot better.

Enter Jini.

Basically Jini attempts to rewrite the rules of software. Everything is just a component, and everything is location-transparent. No more files or file systems or even devices; only services. Forget Java; Java was just the set-up for Jini. Jini is Sun's real attempt to Hack the Planet.

Is Jini a good idea or should it have stayed in its bottle? Let me know what you think.

This is an edited version of a message originally sent to the Casbah mailing list.

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