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Internet At Large

Posted by Bill Venners on August 05, 1999 at 9:38 AM

> I'm a Jini newbie, but with 4 years Java--mostly UI work. I understand that Jini supports a network, but the docs I've read (admittedly few) don't specifically mention whether this capability can include the Internet at large. Is this possible?

You can use Jini over the internet, but you lose one aspect of
it: its spontaneity. On a LAN, clients and services can discover
the lookup service through the discovery protocol. This helps
them spontaneously find each other when they arrive in a new
environment. Once you get to a WAN or the internet, the
multicast packets won't reach everywhere, so multicast
discovery doesn't really work. If you know the IP address and
port number of a lookup service somewhere, however, you can
use unicast discovery to connect to that lookup service.
(You could also use discovery to locate a local lookup
service, and look for other lookup services in there.)

Anyway, the only thing that goes away when you get beyond a
LAN is the multicast discovery protocols. You still get Jini's
automatic installation of "drivers" and its OO benefits. You
just don't get the spontanaeity you get locally because you
have to know where the lookup services are ahead of time.

One way you can imagine using this is to connect over the
internet using Jini to your VCR at home, when you realize
you are going to work late and want the VCR to tape some
program. All you'd need to do is know the IP address and
port number of your house's lookup service (and hopefully
a password to get in.)



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