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Re: bind() and mount() confusion



See my article <news:331FDE98.1FD5@dlc.fi>. You kind of proved my point
by asking...

What the heck, I guess I can copy the entire message here:

Subject:      feedback on the new Web site
Date:         Fri, 07 Mar 1997 01:23:36 -0800
From:         Anssi Porttikivi <porttikivi@dlc.fi>
Organization: Gatestone Enterprises
Newsgroups:   comp.os.inferno

<http://www.lucent.com/inferno/>

The new site is clear and beautiful! It reflects the feeling of fresh
air which Inferno brings to the computing world. 

Contentwise one thing is missing, though: the concept of the computable
name spaces is not explained properly. (Well, I have almost lost my
faith in anybody understanding it, anyway!) It is constantly mixed with
"mounting" resources and networking, although it is firstly about
"binding" directories, basically independent of any networking. Yes,
name spaces combine with networking to make miracles, but then they are
really two different mechanisms stacked.

Binding is a way to combine "servers", much like the concept of
inheritance in object languages. You can start structuring your software
as a local "server". You could modify--extend or limit--functionality of
it by binding "half-transparent" "modification servers" to it. I guess
Inferno is economical enough to structure even a minor application as a
collection of small local servers, thus mirroring the object granularity
of a typical C++ or Java class library, altough this is not a natural
approach.
 
Even non-server directories can be seen as "objects" and can be bound to
different name space configurations to modify workings of a program
using them as input. This is how you control the searching of
executables in Inferno, you bind all directories you want to "/bin".

Binding is also the way to build secure, controlled environments where
to run either donwloaded untrusted code or to open server functionality
for sophisticated and extended extranet access. The security discussion
on the Web site practically omits this aspect, even though it is a major
competitive edge for Inferno.

The binding mechanism is utterly simple and devastatingly powerful, but
nobody seems to grasp it. Probably just because of that! 

-- 
Anssi <http://www.dlc.fi/~porttiki>