[e2e] a means to an end

Craig Partridge craig at aland.bbn.com
Mon Dec 1 05:48:21 PST 2008

>Our dear friend, Van Jacobsen, has decided that layering "where" under 
>"what" with regard to data is neither necessary, nor a good idea.
>I agree: confusing the container with the information it happens to hold 
>is a layer violation.  Information is not bound to place, nor is there a 
>primary instance.  Information is place-free, and perhaps the idea that 
>there must be a "place" where it "is" is an idea whose time should pass, 
>and the purveyors of that idea as a holy writ (the OSI layering) retired 
>to play golf.

Hi Dave:

Much as I'd like to believe this particular theory (as it is nice, clean
and pretty), practical considerations suggest we're not there.

I've talked with some of the folks working on information and seeking
to make information place-free, and the answer, so far, that I've gotten
is that you get part-way there.  If the information is popular or
"nearby" then there are mechanisms that can be viewed as place-free (and
a good thing -- it means that the more popular a piece of information is,
the easier to get easily and perhaps from somewhere locally).

But if you ask about retrieving an uncommon piece of information then
you discover "location" crawls out from under the covers.  That is,
if you ask the question "where do I find the sole copy of item X", you
learn that somewhere hidden in the name of X is a location -- perhaps
of X or perhaps of a rendezvous server that knows where X is -- but
there's the location of something buried in there.



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