Capabilities by any other name

Tyler Close
Tue, 9 Nov 1999 19:01:47 -0500

Ping wrote:
> Here are some terms i would be comfortable with:
>     "capabilities"
>     "capability pointers"
>     "capability keys"
>     "object keys"
>     "object capability security"
>     "object-based security"

When this issue first came up, I thought about suggesting we
regress to 'object reference' and 'distributed object
reference', but I thought I had enough on my plate and this
is a charged issue. I prefer 'reference' to 'pointer', since
there is no 'reference arithmetic' but there is 'pointer
arithmetic'. I think the general perception in the
programming community is that pointers are forgeable things,
whereas references are not (in theory, not reality in some

Since object reference is sort of redundant, we could
shorten to just reference. We could then employ the 'e'
trick that Mark used with right and call it an ereference,
or eref for short.

As is evident on the site, I am also happy with
MarcS's cap.