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Jim Waldo on Distributed Computing
A Conversation with Jini's Chief Architect, Jim Waldo
by Frank Sommers with Bill Venners
First Published in JavaWorld, November 2001

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What's Next?

Frank Sommers: What's next for the Jini team? What are you working on?

Jim Waldo: Right now we're working on the problem of how to make a secure distributed system where you move code around. That's our biggest, single task right now. We're also working on a set of things that will make Jini more scalable, and easier to use out of the box.

With security, we'll try a new model for release. We have released things in a classical fashion, where we would put out an early release, and then a beta release, and then a final release, with a fair amount of time in between. With the security release, we will put out a very early release, and then put out releases more often so that the Jini community can give us as much feedback as possible. Security is really hard. The more people we have looking at it, the more likely we'll get it right.

One of the other great things about Jini has been the Jini community -- a bunch of people who aren't part of the official Jini team, who have adopted the technology, and are interested enough in the technology to work on it and contribute to its development. So, for example, Bill Venners, to pick a random example, who is now in the room, did the service UI work. That's as much a part of the core Jini specification as anything else, even though it hasn't been fully blessed by the Jini community, because we're still figuring out how to do that full blessing. But it's a de facto standard. People are just using it because it's good work.

And we have other people in the community doing things that really expand the notion of who develops Jini. The core Jini team is doing some stuff, but other Jini developments are going on by people who are just as good as the core team. It is a community effort. They're doing it because they believe in it, they think it's good stuff, and they want to contribute to that. So I don't know what's next for Jini, because other people are doing a lot of interesting stuff as well.

About the Author

Frank Sommers is founder and CEO of Autospaces, a company focused on bringing Jini technology to the automotive software market.

Bill Venners provides software consulting and training services at Artima Software. He is the author of Inside the Java 2 Virtual Machine (Enterprise Computing, October 1999) and creator of, a resource for Java and Jini developers.


This interview was originally published by JavaWorld (, copyright IDG, November 2001. Reprinted with permission.

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