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Survival of the Fittest Jini Services, Part I
Ensure the Quality of Web Services in the Age of Calm Computing
by Frank Sommers
First Published in JavaWorld, April 2001

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Services that can provide guarantees of dependability, both qualitative and quantitative, will have a better chance of survival in the coming age of calm computing. People have always relied on guarantees in their dealings with one another. The notion of law and the development of legal systems are in many ways attempts to establish sets of expectations people can rely on: when two people sign a contract, they explicitly promise certain guarantees to each other. If they fail to keep those guarantees, the contract will be annulled, and the faulty party will not be dealt with thenceforth. The state of the Web today is similar to societies without contract law: it is immensely useful, but its arbitrariness is becoming an obstacle to the development of more sophisticated forms of use required by a vision of ubiquitously available information. In the Jini community, we should start thinking seriously about how best to facilitate such guarantees for the services we develop.

About the Author

Frank Sommers is founder and CEO of, a startup focusing on bringing Jini technology to the automotive software market. He also serves as vice president of technology at Nowcom Corp., an outsourcing firm based in Los Angeles. He has been programming in Java since 1995, after attending the first public demonstration of the language on the Sun Microsystems campus in November of that year. His interests include parallel and distributed computing, the discovery and representation of knowledge in databases, as well as the philosophical foundations of computing. When not thinking about computers, he composes and plays piano, studies the symphonies of Gustav Mahler, or explores the writings of Aristotle and Ayn Rand. Sommers would like to thank Jungwon Jin, aka Nugu, for her tireless support and unfailing belief.


"Survival of the Fittest Jini Services, Part I" by Frank Sommers was originally published by JavaWorld (, copyright IDG, April 2001. Reprinted with permission.

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