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Re: To-Do list..

daemon@ATHENA.MIT.EDU (Sat Nov 5 17:23:26 1994 )

From: Alex Stewart <riche@crl.com>
To: jcdst10+@pitt.edu (James C Deikun)
Date: Sat, 5 Nov 1994 14:22:14 -0800 (PST)
Cc: coldstuff@MIT.EDU
In-Reply-To: <Pine.3.89.9411051511.A20462-0100000@unixs2.cis.pitt.edu> from "James C Deikun" at Nov 5, 94 03:48:52 pm

> I was kind of referring to the aspect of replacing pause() with
> request_callback().

Well from the DB end, all it involves is calling (for example) $sys.pause()
instead of using the builtin pause(), and having $sys.pause request_callback(),
save the task_id, and suspend().  Then have $sys.callback check for pending
task_ids to be resumed (of which the aforementioned task_id would be one) and
resume() them.

> The proper way to genericise would to me seem to be:
>   port => anything on which an inbound or outbound connection can be made
>   address => anywhere a connection can come from or be made to
>   connection-info => information about a connection, including the address,
>                      the port, the direction, things like socket numbers...

I'm not talking about terminology.  That's trivial.  I'm talking about method
naming, consistent call syntaxes, generic I/O builtins, etc, etc.  For
starters, come up with a good way to make process-pipe I/O and network
conneciton I/O work through the same object interface while keeping all the
useful aspects of the two (such as having two standard receive paths (stdout
and stderr) for a conneciton to another unix process) and keeping the interface
consistent (such as making the args to .connection_opened consistent across all
types of connections).

These are both examples of why I'm now thinking that this isn't such a great
goal, because it would be much more flexible and easier to work with to make
the interface between the server and the DB specific to the type of connection,
and simply leave it up to the DB to genericize things if it wants to in
whatever way is most appropriate to the tasks it wants to accomplish, instead
of forcing a particular set of compromises on it.  I.e. if you want $connection
to work for both files and net connections, then make $connection have both
.connection_* methods and .pipe_* methods, and let it do its own
amalgomation/compromising into the common interface it presents to other
objects in the DB (which is the only way the other objects should be accessing
these things anyway, so they won't be able to tell the difference).

> I was kind of thinking of open_connection() suspending the task pending
> completion of the attempt.  Is this a horrible thing?

Well, as I said, it's definitely a step backwards.  Once again, you're
proposing to require something that's currently optional, with no obvious
advantage to doing so (unless you consider limiting flexibility an advantage..
I don't)

> The only problem with this being you'd have a screw case that'd require
> a significantly different command line to start even just the server
> part.

I wouldn't call the difference between a ">&" and a "2>" a significantly
different command line.  Anyway, if your interface to the MOO is so different
anyway, you're going to be following a completely different procedure for using
it anyway.. I don't really see how this minor aspect is terribly important in
that case, and as I said, there are significant advantages to the proposed

> Like I said, it would make maintenance very awkward,

Only if you're stupid enough to put it on things that need to be maintained

> it would destroy the model of the DB as a more-or-less self-contained system,

How exactly do you come to this conclusion?  I don't see how this makes the DB
any less self-contained than it was before.  It simply restricts the published
interface, as it were (do private/local methods make an object less

> and it could easily be implemented in-DB with protection for compile() and
> the like.

Easily, but not as securely, as has been stated several times.

What really gets me when reading all your arguments against this thing more
than anything else is that I really can't understand why you're so strongly
opposed to something that is completely optional and adds flexibilty to the
system, solely, as best I can tell, on the grounds that you wouldn't use it.
SO DON'T USE IT.  sheesh.

Actually, reading over this whole message, it seems that most of your arguments
on a lot of things are that people shouldn't be allowed to do things any
differently than you want to do them, so there shouldn't be any server support
for anything that you wouldn't use.  This is just a thoroughly stupid attitude,
in my opinion.

     Alex Stewart - riche@crl.com - Richelieu @ Diversity University MOO