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marshalled objects?  RSS feed

 
Anonymous
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At the most recent Toronto JUG meeting Simon Roberts (co-author of a certification guide) suggested marshalled objects are the only way to do truly "object oriented" network programming. He wouldn't comment on JXTA. Any comments?
 
Michael Ernest
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Are you asking for comments on the relationship between these two statements? It doesn't appear to me there's any real tension between them.
 
Anonymous
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Does that mean JXTA does not claim to be "object oriented"?
 
Michael Ernest
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Far from it. Let's do this in three takes:
A MarshalledObject is just a serialized object that carries its codebase with it. They have the additional advantage of being structured so that it's possible to test two marshalled objects for equality without deserializing them. That means you can store a MarsahlledObject without knowing what it is.
So if you can pass around serialized data, along with information that leads you to the deserializer if you need it, you're effectively passing code that "knows" its behavior (or at least where to find it). This makes it possible to pass around arbitrary information from point to point with a minimum overhead in the agreement between sender and recipient.
The MarshalledObject class is a key component to RMI. It's also quite useful for writing implementations of Jini and JXTA, but neither platform requires RMI throughout their infrastructure. That's important to leaving these designs "open."
Why Simon didn't want to comment on JXTA is anyone's guess, however. Probably not a purely technical reason.
 
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
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