Trial Balloon: A new DataStore Architecture?

Derek Atkins warlord@MIT.EDU
31 Oct 2000 10:49:02 -0500

Rob Browning <> writes:

> On the data communication side, there's also CORBA to consider.

I personally dislike CORBA.  My reasoning is two-fold:

	1) Synchronous RPC is BAD (in many cases).

	2) CORBA tries to push protocol design onto programmers.. But
           good programmers are not necessarily good protocol
           designers (and vice-versa).

A real-world example of this: M$ Outlook requires 84 RPC calls to open
a mail folder.  If your mail server is a few hundred miles away, it
can take, literally, several SECONDS in order to open it.  Why?  The
program has to pause and wait for each RPC to finish before it can
make the next request, and the transmission delay time can be
relatively large in a widely-distributed network.

A real protcol would let you send multiple requests consecutively and
let the responses come asynchronously.  Unfortunately CORBA does not
let you do this.

Another potential problem is the security of CORBA.. Namely, there is
none. :) I would personally insist on data encryption and strong
(kerberos-level or greater) user authentication.

Frankly, I don't think that designing a real protocol would be
difficult.  I also don't think it needs to happen right away.  I think
we can architect and implement the data model using local storage
before designing the network protocol.  At least a set of access
requirements should come first.

> (Fingers tired... stopping typing now :>)

I'd like to continue this discussion...  When your fingers relax a bit


       Derek Atkins, SB '93 MIT EE, SM '95 MIT Media Laboratory
       Member, MIT Student Information Processing Board  (SIPB)
       URL:      PP-ASEL      N1NWH
       warlord@MIT.EDU                        PGP key available