Sun to enlarge on P-to-P project

Sun Microsystems Inc. plans to hold a Webcast next week where it will shed further light on Jxta, which it has described as a foundational technology to boost the development of peer-to-peer (P-to-P) applications and services.

Two of Sun's top technology gurus, Bill Joy, chief scientist and corporate executive officer, and John Gage, chief researcher, will host the Webcast at 11:00 a.m. PDT on Wednesday, April 25, where they will also provide the first in-depth look at the technology, according to information on Sun's Web site.

Joy first announced Jxta, which is short for Juxtaposition, in February, saying little more than that Sun wanted to provide an initial, simple code layer that will allow others to build interoperable applications for P-to-P computing. While a team of Sun developers have worked on Jxta for almost a year now, the company waited until well into the project's cycle to make the initial announcement.

Joy also discussed the open source approach he wants people to take with Jxta. Open source collaboration company CollabNet Inc. will host some of the Jxta code, as it does with Sun's StarOffice productivity applications. Jxta will be released under the Apache license, he said at the time, which defines terms for how the software can be used.

"We do not want this to be turned over to a standards body," Joy said in February. "We are looking to find a group of people who are interested in working with us. Instead of a codified standard, let's let the industry groups here go out and extend it, define it and determine where it needs to go."

While Joy was vocal about the open approach he wants to take with Jxta, some others in the industry have been less than impressed with Sun's efforts. Intel Corp. Chief Technology Officer Pat Gelsinger has said that Sun was unclear about its plans for Jxta and accused it of trying to create a proprietary club around P-to-P.

Intel, which is keen to back technologies that promote the use of PCs, has been an early proponent of P-to-P. Gelsinger urged Sun to join some of the industry efforts already in progress with the technology instead of forging its own path. He made his remarks at the Intel Developer Forum in San Jose, California.

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