Sun launches Jxta development platform

Sun launches Jxta development platform

Executives from Sun Microsystems yesterday officially launched Jxta, a peer-to-peer (P-to-P) project that Sun hopes will be the building block to help developers write distributed computing software applications aimed at helping users find and share information from the Internet more easily.

Two of Sun's top technology officials, Bill Joy, chief scientist and corporate executive officer, and John Gage, chief researcher, hosted the Jxta launch event, offering a look at the project, which includes software code published under an open-source license.

"There are a lot of groups and a lot of excitement behind building new types of distributed-computing applications," Joy said. "We wanted to try and provide a means for these things to interoperate."

On a corporate level, companies adding a layer of Jxta code under existing software could make their applications interoperate with those of other companies. That would make it possible, for instance, for one company's services to interact with another company's applications, with information sent back and forth. Jxta, short for Juxtapose, could also help the companies figure out how best to use computing resources and share some of the processing workload on a project.

On a consumer level, a family might use Jxta to link a variety of devices from PCs to pagers to cell phones, creating a central way to share information. A parent could send an appointment from a cell phone to a shared calendar with other family members alerted to the entry via an e-mail or pager message.

Sun released the Jxta code Wednesday under the open-source Apache software license. Open-source software development company CollabNet will manage much of Jxta's development, including overseeing parts of, the project Web site. CollabNet will also provide its set of tools for open-source development such as bug tracking services, collaboration aids and logs to monitor the software's development.

The source code for Jxta, along with tools for using the software, can be found at the Jxta Web site, Sun officials said. Joy first announced Jxta in February, but provided little information at the time.

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