[e-lang] A broken brand?

Sandro Magi naasking at higherlogics.com
Wed Mar 5 14:01:45 EST 2008

David Wagner wrote:
> Sandro writes:
>> MarkM clarified in a follow-up: types wouldn't have helped if you want 
>> to retain transparent intermediation.
> Ahh, my apologies for missing that.  Can you explain why we'd want
> transparent intermediation?  Are we talking about the membrane pattern,
> or something like that?

Unless I'm mistaken, this is a problem for sealers, which have many uses 
that cross machine boundaries.

I should amend my original statement to: types wouldn't help if you want 
to retain intermediation given currently popular statically typed 
languages. There are prototypes for statically typed distributed 
languages, like HashCaml [1], and Alice ML [2] which maintain type 
safety across machine boundaries.

Types don't mean much in a distributed application where the runtimes 
can't trust each other, not if the runtime hasn't been built with this 
use in mind. Distributed typing based on secrets can probably enforce 
the necessary invariants.


[1] http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~pes20/hashcaml/
[2] http://www.ps.uni-sb.de/alice/

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