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README file for JADE, Version $Name$ INTRODUCTION ============ This package contains a Java framework to build agent-based systems according to FIPA standard specifications. LICENSE ======= see file License. FEEDBACK ======= As you know already, this is still an on-going project. We are still working on the framework and new versions will be distributed as soon as available. Your feedback as users is very important to us. Please, if you have new requirements that you would like to see implemented or if you have examples of usage or if you discover some bugs, send us information. Check the website http://jade.tilab.com/ for how to report bugs and send suggestions. SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS =================== To build the framework a complete Java programming environment is needed. At least a Java Development Kit version 1.4 is required. KNOWN BUGS ========== see http://jade.tilab.com/ ('Bugs' page) for the full list of reported bugs CONTACT ======= Fabio Bellifemine - TILab S.p.A. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org INSTALLATION AND TEST ============================== You can download JADE in source form and recompile it yourself, or get the pre-compiled binaries (actually they are JAR files). The following is an excerpt from the programmer's guide. 5.1 Software requirements ========================= The only software requirement to execute the system is the Java Run Time Environment version 1.4 Further to the Java Compiler version 1.4, to build the system, the JavaCC parser generator (version 3.2 of JavaCC since JADE 3.2), the IDL to Java translator idltojava (available from the Sun Developer Connection) are also needed. However, pre-built IDL stubs and Java parser classes are included with the JADE source distribution such that the Java compiler is sufficient to build the full system, finally the ANT program to compile the source code of JADE with build.xml file, ANT is available from http://jakarta.apache.org. 5.2 Getting the software ======================== All the software is distributed under the LGPL license limitations. It can be downloaded from the JADE web site http://jade.tilab.com/ Five compressed files are available: 1. the source code of JADE 2. the source code of the examples 3. the documentation, including the javadoc of the JADE API and this programmer's guide 4. the binary of JADE, i.e. the jar files with all the Java classes 5. a full distribution with all the previous files 5.3 Running JADE from the binary distribution ============================================= Having uncompressed the archive file, a directory tree is generated whose root is jade and with a lib subdirectory. This subdirectory contains some JAR files that have to be added to the CLASSPATH environment variable. Having set the classpath, the following command can be used to launch the main container of the platform. The main container is composed of the DF agent, the AMS agent, and an RMI registry (that is used by JADE for intra-platform communication). java jade.Boot [options] [Agent list] Additional agent containers can be then launched on the same host, or on remote hosts, that connect themselves with the main container of the Agent Platform, resulting in a distributed system that seems a single Agent Platform from the outside. An Agent Container can be started using the command: java jade.Boot -container [options] [Agent list] An alternative way of launching JADE is the following command: java -jar lib\jade.jar -nomtp [options] [Agent list] see the Administrator's guide for the list of options available from the command line 5.3.2 Launching agents from the command line ============================================ A list of agents can be launched directly from the command line. As described above, the [Agent list] part of the command is a sequence of strings separated by a space. Each string is broken in two parts separated by a colon ':' character. The substring before the colon is taken as the agent name, whereas the substring after the colon is the name of the Java class implementing the agent. This class will be dynamically loaded by the Agent Container. For example, a string Peter:myAgent means "create a new agent named Peter whose implementation is an object of class myAgent". The name of the class must be fully qualified, (e.g. Peter:myPackage.myAgent) and will be searched for according to CLASSPATH definition. 5.3.3 Example ============= First of all set the CLASSPATH to include the JAR files in the lib subdirectory and the current directory. For instance, for Windows 9x/NT use the following command: set CLASSPATH=%CLASSPATH%;.;c:\jade\lib\jade.jar; c:\jade\lib\jadeTools.jar; c:\jade\lib\Base64.jar; c:\jade\lib\http.jar Execute the following command to start the main-container of the platform. Let's suppose that the hostname of this machine is "kim.cselt.it" prompt> java jade.Boot -gui Execute the following command to start an agent container on another machine, by telling it to join the AgentPlatform, called "facts" running on the host "kim.cselt.it", and start one agent (you must download and compile the examples agents to do that): prompt> java jade.Boot -host kim.cselt.it -container sender1:examples.receivers.AgentSender where "sender1" is the name of the agent, while examples.receivers.AgentSender is the code that implements the agent. Execute the following command on a third machine to start another agent container telling it to join the Agent Platform, called "facts" running on the host "kim.cselt.it", and then start two agents. prompt> java jade.Boot -host kim.cselt.it -container receiver2:examples.receivers.AgentReceiver sender2:examples.receivers.AgentSender where the agent named sender2 is implemented by the class examples.receivers.AgentSender, while the agent named receiver2 is implemented by the class examples.receivers.AgentReceiver. 5.4 Building JADE from the source distribution ============================================== If you downloaded the source code of JADE, you can compile it by using the "ant" program, a platform independent version of make. The file "build.xml" in the JADE root directory is the input file for ant. The "ant" program must be installed on your computer, it can be downloaded from the Jakarta Project at the Apache web site: <http://jakarta.apache.org/>. 5.4.1 Building the JADE framework ================================= Just type ant jade you run ant on build.xml file in the root directory. You will end up with all JADE classes in a classes subdirectory. You can add that directory to your CLASSPATH and make sure that everything is OK by running JADE, as described in the previous section. 5.4.2 Building JADE libraries ============================ Type: ant lib This will remove the content of the classes directory and will create some JAR files in the lib directory. These JAR files are just the same you get from the binary distribution. See section 5.3 for a description on how to run JADE when you have built the JAR files. NOTE: jade/lib/Base64.jar is only needed if you want to use the support for JADE serialization and trasmitting sequences of bytes within an ACLMessage. In all other cases, it is not necessary adding it to CLASSPATH . 5.4.3 Building JADE HTML documentation ====================================== Type: ant doc You will end up with Javadoc generated HTML pages, integrated within the overall documentation. Beware that the Programmer's Guide is a PDF file that cannot be generated at your site, but you must download it (it is, of course, in the JADE documentation distribution). 5.4.4 Building JADE examples and demo application ================================================= If you downloaded the examples/demo archive and have unpacked it within the same source tree, you will have to set your CLASSPATH to contain either the classes directory or the JAR files in the lib directory, depending on your JADE distribution, and then type: ant examples In order to compile the Jess-based example, it is necessary to have the JESS system, to set the CLASSPATH to include it and to set JESS_HOME. The example can be compiled by typing: ant jessexample 5.4.5 Cleaning up the source tree ================================= If you type: ant clean you will remove all generated files (classes, HTML pages, JAR files, etc.) from the source tree. If you use makefiles, you will find some other make targets you can use. Feel free to try them, especially if you are modifying JADE source code, but be aware that these other make targets are for internal use only, so they have not been documented. 5.6 IIOP support and inter-platform messaging ============================================= JADE supports FIPA compliant IIIOP communication for inter-platform agent communication. This mechanism is used both to communicate with another JADE platform and with a non-JADE platform. JADE achieves complete transparency in message passing even when multiple agent platforms are involved, so agent developers need not worry about IIOP: JADE selects local Java events, RMI or CORBA/IIOP automatically on behalf of the application. The only issue application developers and platform administrators must be aware-of is agent naming. An agent identifier, in fact, must include a set of URL representing the addresses where it can be contacted. Every JADE agent inherits the addresses of its platform and its AID (including the addresses) is fully generated automatically by JADE when messages are sent externally to the platform. Because most of the CORBA ORB implementations (including the one used by JADE) do not yet allow to choose meaningful words as object keys, JADE resorts to the alternate naming scheme, adopted also by FIPA, using OMG standard stringified IOR as agent addresses. A valid agent address can be both an URL like iiop://fipa.org:50/acc and an IOR as IOR:000000000000001649444c644f4) The IOR-based representation and the URL-based one are exactly equivalent, the URL being far more readable for humans than the IOR. JADE generates IOR-based addresses but can also deal with URL-based ones as long as the URL contains only printable characters (i.e. has been created by an ORB allowing explicit object key assignment) that can be parsed by a FIPA-compliant parser. When starting up, JADE platform prints its IOR both on the standard output and in a ASCII file named JADE.IOR, located in the current directory; the URL for the platform (containing a binary string in the file part) is also written to the file JADE.URL in the current directory. Every agent address automatically includes this platform IOR that should be distributed to remote platforms in order to allow remote agents to send messages to your JADE agents. The distribution mechanism is not specified by FIPA and is application dependent.