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Re: [Vrs-development] VRS development language

From: Bill Lance
Subject: Re: [Vrs-development] VRS development language
Date: Sat, 27 Apr 2002 06:04:01 -0700 (PDT)

Hi Eric,

You raise some interesting points.  As the existing
docs emphasize, security and privacy are prime
objectives with the VRS design.  And, as you observe,
the implementation language has an impact on this.

I am not a language expert, so if anything that I say
here is wronge, please tell me so.  Java and C# are
considered to be 'safe' mostly because they are
executed in a VM rather than on the iron (or silicon
as the case may be).  They are considered safe since
they do not have direct access to the host comupters
resouces, or to other processes running on that host. 
However, that security is only as good as the security
of the VM itself.  If that comes from a third party,
then we have a basic security breach.  Which leads to
principle one:

The VRS must be self contained.

The purpose of a VM language is a good one, however,
to create a operational sandbox.  We intend to do
this, but with a different approach.  The idea is to
run the entire VRS code system in it's own root
system, using mkroot or userlinux.  In effect, the
sandbox is extablished by host system configuration
methods rather than with an interpretor layer.

Now within that system level sandbox, there no doubt
will be a variety of implementation languages, since
most of the Service Manager module will be existing
programs, such as apache, Pnet, and whatever else is
needed to support net services.  

The parts that we are creating for cluster management,
the body of the LDS, could be in any language, or mix
of languages, as long as they ended up in complatable
binary. One possible variation here would be to use
the PNet VM that's already loaded with the VRS system
to execute some of  the LDS functions in addition to
netservice functions.  One part already established is
the middleware infrastructure of Goldwater that Chris
Smith is working on.  Chris is working in C.


--- Eric Altendorf <address@hidden> wrote:
> This is a question I'm afraid to ask, since I
> believe I know what the answer 
> will be, and because I really don't want to start a
> flame war.  But....
> What language(s) are we using to implement VRS?
> I assume most of you are assuming it will be written
> in C...  Is anyone 
> interested in using a safer language (Java, C#,
> etc)?  I'd like to help with 
> coding, but I personally am not going to invest time
> in adding more lines of 
> C code to the world and to future developers and
> maintainers. :-) 
> Would it be possible to separate various aspects of
> the VRS system into 
> things that need to be coded at a system level in C
> and things that could be 
> coded at a higher level in a safe language?
> Maybe, as an alternative, various parts and aspects
> of the VRS system could 
> be defined in a specification, for which there could
> be C implementations as 
> well as Java implementations...may the best
> implementation win...etc. :-)
> Thanks
> Eric
> -- 
> "First they ignore you.  Then they laugh at you.
>  Then they fight you.  And then you win."           
>  -Gandhi
> _______________________________________________
> Vrs-development mailing list
> address@hidden

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