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Remote Tea Executive Summary

The «Remote Tea» project delivers a fully fledged implementation of the ONC/RPC protocol (Wikipedia on ONC/RPC) for the Java platform – and all this under the GNU LGPL Open Source license. No native (binary) libraries are required, since «Remote Tea» is made of 100% Java.

Features

Remote Tea implements the complete ONC/RPC protocol for the TCP/IP and UDP/IP transports according to RFC 1831 and RFC 5531. In particular:

  • 100% Java,
  • complete client functionality, including portmapper access,
  • complete server functionality,
  • a protocol compiler for «.x files» (rpcgen-compatible, Java-based),
    • The protocol compiler jrpcgen from this package is compatible with Sun's rpcgen for SunOS 4.1 – with the only exceptions that no preprocessor and no «%» directives are available. However, multiple parameters in procedures are supported.
  • a Java-based portmapper,
    • ...for whatever this could be good for...
  • comprehensive documentation both as Javadoc and commented source,
    • Go and find the jokes and sarcastic comments...
  • Open Source (GNU LGPL) gives you the security to be able to know what is inside and what is not inside. And yes, the eCommunist FUD newspaper, the Wallstreak Journal, and the Infrigenancial Times (kind of «The Financial Sun» when it comes to properly researched articles) are all right: Open Source is viral and infects you with true freedom – but freedom still means to respect rights, especially the rights of others.
    • Ah, that reminds me of the story where some business person tried to make me help him suing his (quickly former) customer who had taken LGPL ONC/RPC Java code and converted it into C# for an inhouse project (perfectly valid, that is what open source is for). And if that wasn't enough, that business crook tried to hide his real identity and his business, tried to play false games with me (luckily, he's too dump for that), and getting me into the US as an «expert witness» for open source without telling me the full story. But a quick google research turned up some interesting courthouse documents telling what he was up to, as well as other things he is «engaged» in. And no, he wasn't ever with SCO or TSG, as far as I know.

D – Downloads & Documentation

Project History

More or less, «Remote Tea» sprang into existence primarily because Harald Albrecht, then with the Chair of Process Control Engineering, needed an ONC/RPC implementation to connect from a web browser and Java software to industrial automation systems, such as commercial process control systems.

The protocol ACPLT/KS™ for talking to these automation systems uses ONC/RPC as its middleware. Since ACPLT/KS™ is an Open Source communication system for process control, using closed and costly commercial Java libraries with unknown long-term support was clearly not the way to go. What if changes are necessary, for instance for adding security und cryptography? Not possible with the closed, expensive offers.

For these reasons Harald Albrecht has developed a free (as in freedom, not as in beer) implementation of the ONC/RPC standard. The first implementation was done during a classic one-week hack session. As this implementation proved to be okay, it only needed few refining and polishing – well, in principle, but in practise one easily ends up with spending much time on all the little details. RemoteTea is used at the PLT also in the Browser-based Applications in Process Control Engineering project, mainly within the Tian'anmen gateway software for KSX/KS protocol conversion.