pathnames [Re: files, printers, etc. [Re: The feel of a Lisp

Alaric B. Williams
Thu, 8 May 1997 18:11:02 +0000

> And we do have a problem, indeed with links.
> We do save out files, which contain references to other files.
> Whenever users start to access one of those files through a
> different link, well, then we can have troubles.

Right... Pathnames should be purely user-level things; we traverse
a directory graph to find an object, but as soon as the system gets your
choice, it asks for that object's "persistent reference handle" (an
opaque object which might be something like "host IP:inode #" or a
nice location-independent ID allowing for object migration, depending
on the networking layer, and invisible to the application), for the
simple reason that files can be renamed. The file hierachy is a 
user-level structure, full stop.
> --
> Luca Pisati		       Voice:	 (310) 577-0518
> Nichimen Graphics	       Fax:	 (310) 577-0577
> 12555 W. Jefferson #285        EMail:
> Los Angeles, CA 90066          Web:

Alaric B. Williams (

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