[TUHS] core

Noel Chiappa jnc at mercury.lcs.mit.edu
Tue Jun 19 00:51:27 AEST 2018

    > From: Tony Finch <dot at dotat.at>

    > Was this written down anywhere?

Alas, no. It was a presentation at a group seminar, and used either hand-drawn
transparencies, or a white-board - don't recall exactly which. I later tried to
dig it up for use in Nimrod, but without success.

As best I now recall, the concept was that instead of the namespace having a
root at the top, from which you had to allocate downward (and then recurse),
it built _upward_ - if two previously un-connected chunks of graph wanted to
unite in a single system, they allocated a new naming layer on top, in which
each existing system appeared as a constituent.

Or something like that! :-)

The issue with 'top-down' is that you have to have some global 'authority' to
manage the top level - hand out chunks, etc, etc. (For a spectacular example
of where this can go, look at NSAP's.) And what do you do when you run out of
top-level space? (Although in the NSAP case, they had such a complex top
couple of layers, they probably would have avoided that issue. Instead, they
had the problem that their name-space was spectacularly ill-suited to path
selection [routing], since in very large networks, interface names
[adddresses] must have a topological aspect if the path selection is to
scale. Although looking at the Internet nowadays, perhaps not!)

'Bottom-up' is not without problems of course (e.g. what if you want to add
another layer, e.g. to support potentially-nested virtual machines).

I'm not sure how well Dave understood the issue of path selection scaling at
the time he proposed it - it was very early on, '78 or so - since we didn't
understand path selection then as well as we do now. IIRC, I think he was
mostly was interested in it as a way to avoid having to have an asssignment
authority. The attraction for me was that it was easier to ensure that the
names had the needed topological aspect.


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