[unrev-II] More on Lee's Nodal system

From: Eric Armstrong (eric.armstrong@eng.sun.com)
Date: Thu Aug 02 2001 - 13:41:35 PDT

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    To reiterate, the depth of Lee's design is not sufficiently
    represented in the whitepaper. I was very unclear on how it
    would address the issues identified in the KRNL attempt,
    until my discussion with Lee.

    As mentioned (only with emphasis now added), much of that
    discussion *needs* to be reflected in the white paper, to
    make the solutions clear.

    Some tricky areas do remain and, as expected, they tend to be
    below the waterline -- in other words, waiting around the
    corner, ready to ambush users and implementors.

    However, Lee's simplifying assumptions do make things easier.
    (For example, every node points to a header, which points to
    the revision chain. A link therefore always gets the most
    recent version, unless it specifies a particular version. In
    that case, the version-list is traversed to find it.)

    The result of that simplification is a structure that is easier
    to comprehend and program. At the same time, he is taking into
    account the need for a good data model. Above all, his paper is
    aiming at a common data model that will allow data to be
    exchanged among a variety of implementations -- from databases
    to java code. The potential for cross-fertilization of information
    is therefore tremendous, as is the potential competition among

    As a single-language implementation, KRNL could not hope to
    attain the ubiquity that Nodal has, at least in prospect, at
    the very outset.

    In short, I remain convinced that Lee has engineered an important
    and seminal work that has a good chance of revolutionizing the
    way applications access and interchange data.

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