[cap-talk] Google Chrome - web browser with sandboxed rendering

David-Sarah Hopwood david.hopwood at industrial-designers.co.uk
Sun Sep 7 18:14:22 CDT 2008


Rob Meijer wrote:
> On Sun, September 7, 2008 16:46, Sandro Magi wrote:
>> David-Sarah Hopwood wrote:
>>> I don't actually see that having to specify an email protocol manually
>>> (from, in practice, two alternatives -- POP3 and IMAP) is very high on
>>> the list of things that are irritatingly complicated about current
>>> computing systems.
>>>
>>> We definitely don't want to fix a single protocol. Competition between
>>> protocols is good. In practice the user has to be instructed by their
>>> ISP on how to fill in the server/account details, so one extra field
>>> is neither here nor there. [...]
>> It seems clear that as long as address resolution is in a trusted
>> component, then an install-time configuration can endow any application
>> with sockets the user specifies. The user has to specify SMTP,
>> POP3(S)/IMAP(S) servers anyway to set up their accounts, so a standard
>> powerbox interface for such TCP/IP endowments invoked at install-time
>> seems workable to me.
> 
> You could also look at the POP/IMAP case as an example of decomposition of
> authority, where it should be possible to shield this information from the
> user. If the user has a bunch of services (ftp, secure shell, POP. IMAP,
> VOIP) that her ISP offers her, you could probably think of some protocol
> between powerbox and ISP that would allow the user to delegate proper
> POP/IMAP access to the mail client without ever getting exposed to any of
> the details. So the user logs in to some ISP abstraction, asks the ISP
> abstraction for a thingy it can delegate to its mail client and than
> delegates that thingy to the mail client.

That's technically possible, but it would require a new protocol that would
have to be adopted by ISPs. I'm all in favour of being optimistic about
adoption of capability-based protocols, but still I don't think that
something that requires both a user *and* their ISP to adopt some new idea
has any chance of being successful in practice. We should concentrate on
things that can work in practice for existing infrastructure.

-- 
David-Sarah Hopwood



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