Workshop on Middleware
Naming and Addressing
Coordinator: Larry Masinter (XEROX)
Scribe: Lewis & Bienvenido
The session on Naming started with a 'Quiz'; a set of questions about
naming. The request was that everyone should answer 'yes', 'no', or
`it depends', and, if `it depends' then to answer "what does it depend
on, and how?"
The session was supposed to start with some assumptions:
Here are the questions:
- It is necessary to have objects that refer to other objects, services, locations, individuals in a way that allows binding (of information-about and access-to) by name alone.
- Binding must be fast.
- Name assignment and binding services are a fundamental part of 'middleware'.
- Fewer naming and binding systems are better than many, as long as they meet requirements.
- A. Scope
- Can or should naming of digital objects be separated from naming
individuals, roles, objects, systems, services?
- Should naming of static (immutable) objects and dynamic objects
be handled separately?
- Is it possible or advisable to separate name lookup from
discovery/search? Where's the line?
- Is the design of the name lookup system separable from the
design of caching, replication, mirroring, preservation,
- B. Information in names
- Should relationships (version/revision, part/whole) be evident
from names? Should version relationships be captured in the
- Is there a separate name for an object and
meta-data-about-object? Is there a relationship between those
- Is it possible/advisable to separate naming for systems & late
binding from naming for human transcription, printing in
newspapers, business cards? Internationalization issues?
- Why not merge other information into names? E.g., rating,
- C. Security issues
- Should names be self-authenticating? Error-detecting?
- Who is allowed to issue a name? Are there any attacks by nasty
- Who is allowed to update the information associated with a name?
Now? In 5 years? In 100 years?
- D. Growth and Scale
- Is it possible to support autoconfiguration and introduction of
new naming and resolution services?
- While the network is growing exponentially, must the disk,
bandwidth and number of name services all also grow
exponentially? Which don't?
- Can the same system accomodate objects with temporary and
objects with permanent names?
- E. Compatibility
- Must naming systems and name lookup include every other naming
system, and supply mutual encapsulation?
- What legacy naming systems shouldn't be included?
The discussion was wide-ranging, but the notes on this session are
sketchy. If you have additional comments on these issues, please send
them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Return to the Workshop on Middleware Homepage.