[cap-talk] [e-lang] File API taming

Stiegler, Marc D marc.d.stiegler at hp.com
Mon Mar 23 12:50:54 EDT 2009


> If you view the name of the file only as a petname within the 
> namespace defined for the containing directory, sharing the 
> value of this petname without sharing a capability to the 
> containing directory would not transfer any authority, 
> especialy if authority to the file itself is shared already.
> Viewing names like this however does not make the name a 
> property of the file object, but a property of the relation. 
> You may use this concept to create some sort of 'relation' 
> proxy object that transparently proxies the file object and 
> extends the interface with a getName() method.
> Extending this concept to a getPath() implementation however 
> seems to give rise to possible confusions. People are used to 
> using absolute paths for designation, thus providing a full 
> path with an artificial getPath() implementation may lead 
> people to mistakingly look for ways to use these paths as 
> designations.
> Rob

There are 2 ways they might think of such a path as a designation, one correct and one incorrect. The incorrect way would be to think of it as a designation that bears authority. but that mistaken usage is quickly self-correcting, because one immediately notices one has no way of converting the string to a power. The other way to use this as a designation is as a richer description for coordination among users who already have the authority and are trying to figure out which of their similar authorities they are about to use together. This is a correct use. And even though this use will be important rarely as a percentage of uses, given millions of users, it will be important often.


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