OFF: Extensible File System

Mike Prince
Tue, 8 Nov 1994 14:57:44 -0800 (PST)

On Tue, 8 Nov 1994, Andy Thornton wrote:
> > My main point, is that we could get completely away from the file system 
> > hierarchy to a more WWW type system of managing data.  All data is free 
> > floating.  Traverse links to get where you want.
> > 
> > Mike

> I think that this is the way to go but we will still need a framework in 
> which to place out objects - is they will still need names of some sort - 
> ie URL in the WWW system.

I'm milling over the idea of having names for objects of up to 128 bytes 
long.  If you want speed in lookup try to give them all 4 byte long names 
and have a quick lookup list.

> How do we cope with object migration?  Do we need a central database of 
> object location?  Does this not threaten the system if the machine 
> holding this database goes down?  Do we have to resort to polling all the 
> machines to find where a particular object is currently residing.

Half-baked idea: Have each domain have a primary object name server, with 
an alternate named as well.  The name server offers the suggestion of 
where an object is.  Requests to that workspace can then be bounced if 
the reference is not correct.

Quick Note:  A CPU is a workspace which is an element of a Domain 
which is an element of everything (out Virtual Machine).

> >From what I can see the aim is to make a much more dynamic system for 
> information storage but I think we need to balance this against the 
> understandability of a static system - there must be a reasonable compromise.

Another idea is to bound objects, either within their workspace, domain, 
or not at all.  Another is to allow bounded objects to send replications 
outside those bounds.  This way your can control your migration and 
regain a somewhat static system.

One other way is to create lists of objects.  Pop open a window with a 
bunch of icons.  Each icon simply represents the name of an object which 
is used to reference it.  This hides the actual location from the user 
but gives objects a degree of freedom.  So each time that window is 
displayed it polls all the objects, gets their icons, and gives a status 
of their links.