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IIOP tools

From: Archit Shah
Subject: IIOP tools
Date: Wed, 11 May 2005 13:29:06 -0400
User-agent: Mozilla Thunderbird 1.0.2-1.3.2 (X11/20050324)

GNU Classpath currently has almost no support for IIOP. I'm wondering what the interest level is in expanding GNU classpath support for IIOP. I'm not sure what runtime classes are needed for IIOP, but I think JacORB [1] provides most of what is needed. My interest lies in the tools. These are the command line utilities that are needed to match what the proprietary JDKs have:

A) rmic -iiop (generates Java stubs and ties from Java classes)
B) a Cos name server (corresponds to tnameserv in the Sun JDK)
C) idlj (converts from IDL to Java stubs and ties)
D) rmic -idl (converts from Java remote interfaces to IDL)

A & B are absolutely necessary to have a working remoting system. One of the reasons to use IIOP with Java is IDL, so C & D are probably important to most users of IIOP.

Building A, C, and D from a single codebase would allow for significant code sharing among the tools. All 3 work with the IDL and Java metamodels and need to translate between them. This translation is a big part of the complexity of the tools. No open source project that I know of has taken advantage of this opportunity for code reuse; Classpath can do this and implement the IDL-Java translation logic once and for all.

Various pieces of IIOP tools functionality are already implemented in other open source projects. I am aware of JacORB and ObjectWeb's Jonathan [2]. Both are LGPL licensed. Jonathan has a somewhat functioning A. JacORB provides B, though it is missing one feature (the ability to specify a known initial port). The two subflavors of C (default and -poa) are provided by Jonathan and JacORB respectively. I do not know of a D.

 -- Archit



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