Re: gnome/gnu server proposal

On 5 Jul 2001, Bob Smith wrote:


> 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
> whatever)
> 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.

 I think all preferences could be stored in special IMAP folders (probably
having the names of configuration files in ~/.gnome/). This way any ISP who
provides IMAP access to the mail could be used for holding preferences, and no
new protocol would have to be invented and implemented.
> 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?

 I think that this won't be useful without extensions to bonobo that monitors
how many instances of components are instantiated currently (and that
disallows to use a component if the number of instances is bigger than some
number). It's because most bonobo components that will not be available on
each computer will be commercial ones, and most probably the licenses for them
won't allow to run more than 1 instance of the component (or multi-user
license would have to be acquired).

 Best regards,

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