gnome/gnu server proposal

Hello all,
	I was thinking about some things, Novell, SMB, email, netscape's
roaming, .NET, SOAP, Passport and came up with a rather interesting
idea. GNOME's goal is to create a network centric platform, but
currently it is rather tied down to unixes single machine arcitecture. I
propose a new server protocol to provide authentication, metadata, and
user only preferences. What will this acomplish?

Senerio 1:
User sits down at his home machine. Logs in as bob.
Opens Galeon does some surfing, finds a good site and bookmarks it.
User logs off, goes shopping and goes to an internet cafee (or job, or
User wants to revisit the site but cant remember it.

This is fairly common, but currently there is no real way to solve the
problem. Netscape had an interesting solution to the problem with its
roaming capabilities, but is too complicated and doesnt work very well.

My proposed solution is to have a server running somewhere (maybe at ISP
level eventuall), used for authentication and prefs. The user would not
login to the machine so much as it would be loging into a server
somewhere like NDS or a SMB Domains do. The user would login useing a
username/server combo similar to an email address. 
Login: bob thestuff net
Password: ******

This would be very nice for things like internet cafee's since the user
can take his/her information along with them, without any work.

The unix login command would need to be modified to allow for loging on
in this fassion. It would do a standard lookup, and if the name is not
in the password database, it would try to contact the remote server for
authentication provided the machine was setup with a guest account. This
setup also would allow for haveing global accounts. Permissions can be
given to bob thestuff net on any network in the world connected to the
internet and security would still be maintainable. This would remove
alot of the hassle network admins have with maintaining thousands of
username/passowrds. All they would have to maintain is permissions for
their local network associated with one of these accounts.

One other interesting benifit would be in the case of bonobo/oaf. When
you login, OAF can post its Object Directory IOR onto the server along
with every other logged in account. OAF can then murge all the OD's with
its own. What will this alow?

Senerio 2:
User goes to an internet cafee. He logs into bob thestuff net  His
computer at home is loged into bob thestuff net as well. The internet
cafee's small list of services doubles because you have access to all
the bonobo controls from home transparently. Say you want to do abit of
CAD work, you start your CAD program from your remote box and start to
work. When done, you log off. You go home, and your CAD drawing is all
ready there.

The server should be done in the most portable way to provide access for
non gnome situations. It should be useable for all console apps, windows
apps and should be able to bypass firewall problems. It probably should
be written to be over http so that it will work with all proxy servers.
A local cacheing server would definatly be a requirement as well. 

This is just an idea that I came up with yesterday/today, so its not
very complete and still needs some thaught, but it has, IMHO, a great
deal of potential and should be discussed.

Thaughts, suggestions?


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