Jini has to be about the hottest new Java technology to be released in years. Imagine a world of plug-and-play networked devices, which can be installed and seamlessly integrated with your LAN simply by connecting them to your network. A laptop on-the-go can just plug in to an unfamiliar network, and access the printer or Internet proxy server, without the need to install any drivers. Mixing Unix and Wintel devices? Not a worry. Jini promises to let them talk to each other. That's the vision behind Jini. But that vision goes much further. Not only can hardware devices talk to one another, but also software services. In a Jini world, you won't care whether how a device works, or whether it is software or hardware based. An Internet based fax service will act as a fax, as will a hardware device. You'll just look for a fax service, without worrying how the service is implemented. Of course, someone needs to write the software that will power Jini services. That's where The Jini Specification comes in. The book is divided into two main sections, an overview and the specification for Jini. The overview provides an easily accessible overview of what Jini is, how it works, and what it can achieve. There are also several examples of Jini services and clients, to give you some practical experience with building Jini software applications. From there, the book dives headfirst into the actual specification. The first part of the book is good for managers, and software developers alike. The coverage of the specification, however, is designed as a reference for developers as they construct Jini software. This is where many readers could become lost, unless they are already using Jini in action. The first part of the book is a guide to Jini, the second intended only as a reference during development. Finally, a glossary of Jini terms and an essay on distributed computing is included, along with the full source code from the overview. The Jini Specification is a must-have for anyone considering Jini development. It provides an excellent guide to Jini technology for those considering designing Jini-based systems, and a comprehensive printed reference for those who will implement them. -- David Reilly, for the Java Coffee Break
Since it has so many glowing reviews, I'll give it a review that may be uselful to the authors for future additions. I don't understand why Sun Microsystems, on their website and in thier books, (and this book is no exception) do not use UML to describe their libraries and frameworks. I, for one, learn a lot about dependencies and collaborations between classes when UML is employed. In the sections that have real code examples, it would be helpful to have a snippet of UML describing the section of Jini critical to that example, for instance. Furthermore, in the earlier sections of the book, the overview, the authors use what I call "system collaboration diagrams", even better would be when they are explaining code snippets to highlight in their system collaboration diagrams what part of the system they are showing an example of. I guess I just found the explaination of the examples lacking. The examples themselves are excerpted, making them hard to follow. For instance, it is confusing to see an ordinary method being called (from within an excerpt) with no class or object qualified before it. Is it in the superclass? In the implementation? If in the superclass, how far up? This is especially difficult when referring to the DEM of Java, which sometimes seems counterintuitive to beginners. My rule of thumb is one should never look at a piece of code and get "nervous" about what a symbol or method is supposed to be doing there.
As a young engineer I can feel the energy that surrounds Jini technology. It seems that Jini has the potential to be something that will change the way we look at and do computing. It has also been kept open enough so that anybody and everybody can learn and work with it. The only unfortunate thing was that till this day. There were no comprehensive learning aids. I have read many of the faqs, slide shows, tutorials and mailing list archives (that I could find on the internet). They have all been insightful and helpful but none of them have been complete. The "Jini Specification" has been my first complete step into understanding how this new technology will change the way I think. It has provided me with an introduction and overview of the general principles and components of Jini (Part 1 - Overview and Examples). This was complemented with what I think are very relevant and easy to understand examples (eg. chat room). (This was something my friend and I were trying to implement as part of the learning experience. :) It has also convinced me of the need to read the relevant Jini white papers by including them as Part 2 - The Jini Specification. I will continue to refer to this section until all the white papers are read and committed to memory. (just joking!) "A Note on Distributed Computing" is Appendix A and it was my first time reading this report. I thought it reflected what I understood/assumed about local and distributed computing. I realize that this is one of the first books (if not the first) on the topic of Jini and as such I have nothing else to compare it too. But, it has increased my understanding of Jini and distributed computing. This makes the book worthwhile in my mind. Felix Tang, University of Toronto, Engineering Science
As a distributed computer designer, developer and research I feel this book is best for JINI - which is the latest and modest happening in field of distributed computing. The book not only covers JINI specifications, but has a clear theory on what it is, with code samples and very clean writing fashion. Moreover, it is short and to the point. I strongly recommend this book to distributed design professionals and students, as it gives a latest tech flavour for them to be in touch and know tommorrows' computing arena.
This book deals with a complicated subject in an intelligent and well organized manner. The excellent presentation itself speaks well for the quality of the editing provided by the publisher, and I highly recommend it for anyone involved in the field.