FoRK Classics: ONESIMUS.

I Find Karma (
Sat, 21 Jun 97 11:09:52 PDT

In my rant about how FoRK started

I mentioned ONESIMUS, and two people have asked for more details
so I figured I would just FoRK them. Of course, Ernie's the one
who came up with this, but I assume it's okay with him if I drudge
up a classic that would have been a FoRKpost if FoRK had existed
at the time.

Recall that ONE is Gordon's acronym for "One Namespace Everywhere"
in which Gordon elegantly and eloquently states the naming problem and
sketches what I think is a fairly decent solution:

Although he hasn't worked on ONE since early 1996 (?!), ONE is still a
compelling vision. FWIW, SOGS will have to solve the naming problem or
it will be a soggy vision, one confined to living in diapers. :)

Back to ONESIMUS, Ernie's vision the Sunday of our fateful physics
library alcove brainstorming session. It is a virtuouso performace in
acronymization, at the very least. Enjoy...

> From Sun Apr 23 18:15:06 1995
> To
> Subject: Beyond ONE
> Okay, I had another epiphany in the shower.
> Initially, we saw ourselves having two problems. One if naming and
> locating entitites on the network. The other is figuring out which
> messages to send them. I realized that these are, conceptually at
> least, the *same* problem.
> ONE deals with the namespace problem. The locating problem is an
> additional complication. Parallel instances (of objects or
> processing) is a third.
> I use the term ONESIMUS == One Namespace Everywhere, Simultaneous
> Instances, Multiple Uniform Searchspaces.
> Okay, the middle part is a bit weak. And maybe everywhere should be
> everything.
> Onesimus is a minor character (a returned slave) in the biblical book
> of Philemon, whose name means "useful" in greek. Paul makes lots of
> puns in that book on the name. You gotta love the guy.
> Anyway, there are several different searchspaces. One is by name.
> Another is by behavior. A third is by context. There may be more,
> but if one can define the appropriate protocol for navigating various
> *searchspaces*, one can use it to search in unlimited new ways. (Each
> space is defined by a metric, a different way of measuring distance to
> things. You want to find a searchspace where the desired object is
> near to something you already know).
> This ties directly into the protocol calculus. I want to find the
> name of the method or protocol that will tell me what my yield is on
> the mutual fund I purchased. Within the namespace of that object, I
> search for the methods that return yield, or the factors I need to
> calculate yield.
> Filters, in this viewpoint, are wormholes in searchspace. They make
> two points equivalent, meaning if you've found one you've found the
> other. But they are just a special case. Normally you use the USP
> (Uniform Searchspace Protocol) to move through searchspace to find
> what you want. And, the beauty of searchspace is that you along the
> way you find other things that may be of interest, like a good
> library. (or a devious supermarket:).
> To be honest, I'm not as clear where the parallelism fits in, although
> I think it is tied in with the idea of both naming and searching (for
> example, a search in the behaviour space finds a name, and a search in
> the namespace finds the nearest location for obtaining that resource.
> Or you can instantiate the search in multiple searchspaces
> simultaneously, with different priorities and synchronization.
> Without the parallelization issues, it becomes just ONUS - One Namespace,
> Uniform Searchspaces.
> Anyway, I thought it was a cool framework for pulling the various threads
> together, although you may have moved past that by the time you read this.
> -- Ernie P.

A compelling read still, two years later. Despite great strides, it's
amazing how much remains to be done with the Web. We may just have to
throw out the plumbing (and replace it with *TP), or we may have to
chuck the operating systems (and replace the with oSpace), or we may
have to replace the programming models (and replace them with Cells), or
we may have to rip out the file systems (and replace them with ROOFS),
or we may have to migrate to a new platform completely (Munchkins,
anyone?), or some combination therein, to free ourselves from the
limitations of personal computers networked over end-to-end Internet


Dr. Wood is a liar, she's a liar, she's a liar, she's a hateful liar.
-- Church of Scientology attorney Elliot Abelson, in reference to the
report of the Pinellas-Pasco (FL) medical examiner Joan Wood, which
alleges that Lisa McPherson, a Scientologist who died under
mysterious circumstances in December, 1995, had been deprived of
water for at least 5 and possibly as long as 17 days prior to her
death, while in the care of the Church of Scientology. As quoted
by Cheryl Waldrip in the Tampa Tribune, January 23, 1997.
(as reported Scott Goehring,