Distributed Applications and Mobile Code

New … powerful … hooked into everything. Trusted to run it all. They say it got smart. A new order of intelligence. Then it saw all people as a threat …

—Dialogue on machine intelligence in the movie The Terminator, 1984

We'll use the term distributed applications to refer to programs distributed throughout the network that use each other's services without direct human intervention. For example, you might have an order processing system that is comprised of several semiautonomous modules. One accepts orders, another verifies payments, another maintains inventory, another handles package shipments, and so on. Each of these software components might be implemented in a different manner, and might even be ...

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