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Network Distributed Computing: Fitscapes and Fallacies Paperback – Apr 22 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 1 edition (April 22 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0131001523
  • ISBN-13: 978-0131001527
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 17.6 x 23.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 621 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,972,762 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Format: Paperback
This book was great. I was looking for a book that would give me a familiarity with the past-present-future of distributed computing and that is exactly what I found. I'm a somewhat seasoned programmer, but I have not had much experience with NDC, so I felt I needed a high level introduction to the theory and practice of NDC before I started getting into the nitty gritty details of programming. That said, you won't find any code to cut and paste into your projects. However, the distance from the "nitty-gritty" allows one to see how one could implement Goff's ideas (or not implement them if you consider the "eight classic fallicies" he discusses) in any language. I finished the book in just a few days - Goff's writing is very clear - and now I feel ready to tackle the subject.
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By Frank Cohen on July 14 2004
Format: Paperback
The impact on the book of Max spending ten years at Sun Microsystems from 1993 to 2003 is clear. Those were essentially the years that the world learned about the Web. Sun was not shy at investing research dollars on technologies needed to prove that the network is the computer. Max had access the Sun thought machine, including thought leader thinkers like Bill Joy and James Gosling, and the everyday exceptional thinkers like the engineers on the JINI team. These were the thinkers behind the Internet. And while it turns out that the pragmatists like Bill Gates built huge software businesses on Internet technology, Fitscapes and Fallacies makes me believe there is a huge untapped potential for distributed software applications.
Fitscapes and fallacies might have been better titled "The Nature and Nurture of the Internet." Fitscape is Max's word to describe the nature of distributed computing. Charles Darwin wrote about "autonomous agents competing for resources" and Max draws the conclusion that you can apply the same description to processes running in a grid of networked computers. The book begins with an explanation of the attributes of a fitscape and then talks about the protocols that are used to build a distributed application. Fitscapes and Fallaces then compares a number of fitscapes - yes, there are more than one - using Deutsche's 8 fallacies of network computing.
While the work is slightly academic, it delivers messages I wish every beginning software developer, QA technician, and IT manager would learn.
-Frank
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Format: Paperback
Today I was able to finish the review on the book Network Distributed Computing by Max K. Goff (Prentice Hall). If you're looking for a high-level work that deals with much of the theory and direction of NDC, you'll get a lot from this book.
The chapter breakout:
Fitscapes and Fallacies; Ten Technology Trends; The Scope of NDC; NDC Theory; NDC Protocols; NDC Messaging; NDC Datacom: Wireless and Integration; Today's NDC Frameworks; Tomorrow's NDC Framework Options; Fallacies and Frameworks; Composability: Real-Time, Grids, and the Rise of an NDC Meta-Architecture; Innovation and Convergence; Index
Now let me go on record right away. I deal much better with practical hands-on material. I want to see code and systems. From that perspective, this book was a let-down. You aren't going to find code you can cut and paste to build a peer-to-peer client. Having said that, this *is* an excellent book to understand exactly what types of issues are involved in conceiving, designing, and building NDC systems and architectures. In fact, I could easily see this as a textbook for a college-level course on the subject. The author stays remarkably vendor- and platform-neutral, so you won't get an overdose of *just* Sun or .Net approaches.
Not having spent much time thinking about all that goes into NDC systems, I was amazed at the complexity and issues that come into play for even the simpliest applications. With the increasing significance of distributed computing, I think most IT professionals could benefit by reading through the material and becoming aware of trends that will be here in very short order.
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By Rulon James on July 10 2004
Format: Paperback
I love this book! It gave me ideas that would have not occurred to me and is as insightful as it is easy to read and understand. I am not a computer programmer, but my friend suggested I read this, and that I would understand it, and she was right. I would recommend this book to anybody who is interested in where technology (especially the Internet) is taking things.
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By W Boudville on June 9 2004
Format: Paperback
In this speculative discourse, Goff offers us a vision of the future direction of computing. He takes 10 trends in technology and suggests how these might proceed, and interact with each other in unexpected ways. To us, perhaps the best known trends are the wireless computing (cellphones), robotics and Web Services. With the latter, he includes what Tim Berners-Lee termed the Semantic Web. Another trend is grid computing, which IBM is pushing hard.
An important enabling technology for this future is JXTA, for mobile p2p networks. He suggests that it may have greater impact than Jini. In fact, he does a point-by-point comparison of the two, to Jini's disadvantage.
While the book is put out under Sun's rubric, and Sun has the copyright on the book, the above comparison suggests a commendable objectivity. JXTA is derived from Sun's Java, but it is now independent, whereas Jini is wholly owned by Sun. Now it should be said that other sections of the book describe quite favourably Sun's products; most notably Java. But since Sun's founding, it has indeed pushed the industry envelope on networking.
A very interesting side note he made was in comparing Java with C#/.NET. As you may know, a strongly claimed advantage for the latter is that you can write in other languages like Pascal or Visual Basic, that have been suitably extended to handle .NET, and then combine the resultant binaries made from different languages, into one functional form. But, independently of Sun, others have written "translators" that take source code in various non-Java languages, and produce Java bytecode. It turns out that there is relatively little demand for this. Goff suggests that it is because the bytecode is optimised for Java, and Java is expressive enough that you might as well write in it.
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