Bill Joy unveiled an open source Peer to Peer initiative that he described as the third part of the J trilogy.
Project Juxtapose will unveil rudimentary tools and protocols for transferring information between nodes, for grouping nodes "so it's not all one flat space", for monitoring traffic, and for security.
"Juxta is what we think are primitives for doing apps in P2P or distributed fashion," said Joy, who said it had been a research project at Sun for several months. The first of these areas would provide pipes between participating machines, stdin and stdout in C terms, but with the promise of "an unlimited process table". A "crufty" implementation would be released in April, he promised.
Software and specifications will be released under the Apache license, similar to the BSD license Joy himself helped write in pre-Sun days.
That's pretty much it for now - in fact we had to sit through 41 minutes of Bill's preamble and a panel discussion to get this information, which brought ironic applause from the audience at the O'Reilly P2P conference in San Francisco today.
It will use Java and XML, and but that's all. Joy said getting a SOAP message wasn't in itself that useful.
If the team can keep it simple, there's no reason why it can't form the basis for future killer apps. He described the Juxta as only needing to be complex enough to enable the next set of tools.
He stopped short of calling it an API for P2P. Joy thought it would find its way into the Sun software platform.
Getting security right was a priority he said: ActiveX simply didn't have a security design: "I got this tennis start email on my Mac this week and could it see it had the .vbs extension, and thought, uh-oh, here we go again..."
Unlike Microsoft we're not trying do something infinitely complex like .NET. They have all that legacy. But a Linux node is more complicated than what we think the node will be," he said, suggesting that thin clients such as smartphones were as much the target device as today's PCs and workstations. ®: