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Chapter 10. Jini: Sun's Technology of Im... > Where Did Jini Come From?

Where Did Jini Come From?

Jini is Sun's continued dedication to the founding principles of a language called Oak. Oak was intended as a platform-independent, simple, object-oriented approach to working with "smart appliances," like set top boxes, clocks, microwaves, cell phones, you name it. The problem was that companies in the smart appliance market found themselves spending lots of time and money supporting a myriad of software environments. It seemed that each appliance they developed used different hardware that either had its own software environment or was different enough from the "standard" programming environments to require individual attention.

Oak was intended to help companies deploying different smart appliances concentrate on the appliance itself and not on the overhead of the software environment. Oak was supposed to be write once, run anywhere. Sound familiar? It should because out of Oak came Java. Java gained its popularity because it offered platform independence for application developers on personal computers. You can write an application on a Mac and have the exact same code run on a Windows machine, or a UNIX box. Over time, Java technology has become more robust and mature. Sun never abandoned its roots in the smart appliance market. Instead, they are redefining what people think an appliance is, and bringing the full weight of Java (both its strengths and weaknesses) to bear on the genre. Sun's reference implementation of Jini is a software architecture layer that makes extensive use of Java RMI, which makes possible the concept of a "plug and work" network appliance.


  

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