Topic: name server or name directory

topics > Group: naming

distributed systems
electronic mail
file system

alias names
client-server model for distributed systems
descriptive naming
file directory
group names
hypertext nodes made of names
locating named objects by broadcast
mobile code
naming authority
routing electronic mailing
symbol table
unique names
using an address as a name
using a description as a name


A name database, or directory, is a flat database of names that reference either data or lists of names. It is closely related to a file system. A name directory or name server maps names to network IDs, addresses, phone numbers, and other information. You can search on any field. There may be multiple entries for a given name.

A directory is often limited to a geographic area. This reduces the number of ambiguities and limits the scope of a search. A name server may return other name servers.

A universal directory simplifies the design and navigation of a system. A name database is distributed because of size, locality of reference, and to resolve ambiguities. It needs replication to maintain a one system viewpoint. The Clearinghouse is a good example of a directory. (cbb 6/89, 12/00)

Subtopic: name service -- network up

Quote: a name service maps an entity's name into a set of labeled properties; each value is a string; like Grapevine and Clearinghouse [»lampBW8_1985]
Quote: binding mechanism for network-visible objects is needed for large network-based systems; e.g., Clearinghouse [»oppeDC7_1983]

Subtopic: name service -- authentication up

Quote: a certification library maps from names to public keys, keys to principals, group members to group names, and image digests to role names [»wobbE2_1994]

Subtopic: directory service up

Quote: Andrew white pages was successful; plans for expansion [»boreN2_1988]
Quote: Andrew white pages includes heuristics for phonetic matching; used to rewrite names on 'to:' and 'cc:' fields and incoming messages [»boreN2_1988]
Quote: the telephone clearinghouse require clients to resolve ambiguities [»oppeDC7_1983]
Quote: telephone clearinghouse only maintains phone number for your name of yourself; others by still use nicknames [»oppeDC7_1983]
Quote: name directory should support mailbox addresses, logical addresses and descriptive addresses [»comeDE11_1986]
Quote: name directory should accept and display names according to user preferences
Quote: the telephone clearinghouse maps between finding objects by name, by number, or by subject [»oppeDC7_1983]

Subtopic: global name service up

Quote: clients may use any name known anywhere in Clearinghouse [»oppeDC7_1983]
Quote: if Grapevine is the sole authenticator, users have the same name and password everywhere
Quote: if Grapevine is the sole name directory, then its groups can be used for many purposes [»birrAD4_1982]
Quote: a global name service should encompass all computers and users, like the postal and telephone systems [»lampBW8_1985]
Quote: a global name service is for resource location, mail addressing, and authentication
Quote: V uses a highly resilient global naming system; otherwise a failed multicast for a name may only indicate an inaccessible server [»cherDR3_1988]
Quote: maintain a distributed system with a global registry of software modules; unique identifier for name, version, security interface, and performance parameters; modules exchange ids [»fedaA3_1997]

Subtopic: distributed name servers up

Quote: a name server can return the address of another name server [»suZS8_1982]
Quote: a recursive name server may call another server on its client's behalf [»suZS8_1982]
Quote: telephone books are decentralized for size reduction and disambiguation of names [»oppeDC7_1983]
Quote: individuals should be assigned to geographic name registries to allow easy reorganization [»schrMD2_1984]
Quote: in V, each object manager implements names for its objects; since name lookup is only one step of an operation; also simpler consistency [»cherDR3_1988]
Quote: a backing store server has a known master index and arbitrarily named, sub-indices; forms a naming network [»birrAD9_1980]

Subtopic: global vs. distributed up

Quote: some distribution lists work better in an organizational registry than in a geographic one

Subtopic: Clearinghouse & Grapevine up

Quote: every domain has a domain clearinghouse; contains all mappings for every name in domain [»oppeDC7_1983]
Quote: the organization CHServers contains the network addresses for domain clearinghouses [»oppeDC7_1983]
Quote: the organization CHServers contains a list of domain clearinghouses for each domain [»oppeDC7_1983]
Quote: an organization clearinghouse is in CHServers; it contains names and address for its domain clearinghouses [»oppeDC7_1983]
Quote: every Clearinghouse server is an organization clearinghouse for CHServers:CHServers; provides access to every organization clearinghouse [»oppeDC7_1983]
Quote: distinguish physical, Clearinghouse servers from logical domain and organizational clearinghouses [»oppeDC7_1983]
Quote: Clearinghouse stubs must use broadcast to locate a server that's moved [»oppeDC7_1983]
Quote: if a clearinghouse server does not include a domain clearinghouse; it returns the names and addresses of servers that are clearinghouses [»oppeDC7_1983]
Quote: Clearinghouse provides support for system administration of its distributed environment [»oppeDC10_1981]
Quote: in Clearinghouse can enumerate all names in a domain [»oppeDC10_1981]
Quote: Clearinghouse stubs follow a simpler protocol than servers; lots of them, offline frequently, change frequently [»oppeDC10_1981]
Quote: Grapevine's registration data base maps names to individual or group information [»birrAD4_1982]

Subtopic: examples up

Quote: Helix provide services by registering taskid and descriptive text string with name server; clients can then use LOCATE service primitive [»fridM5_1985]
Quote: an Amoeba service is made available outside of its domain by publishing its port through SWAN; spread by RPC to other SWAN processes [»taneAS12_1990]
Quote: Telesophy uses a registry for logical server to address mapping; better than fixed table [»caplM12_1987]
Quote: a name service client sees a hierarchy like a Unix file system; each arc has a string label and each node a time-stamp and present mark [»lampBW8_1985]

Related Topics up

Group: distributed systems   (14 topics, 348 quotes)
Group: electronic mail   (12 topics, 170 quotes)
Group: file system   (9 topics, 305 quotes)

Topic: alias names (39 items)
Topic: client-server model for distributed systems (25 items)
Topic: descriptive naming (29 items)
Topic: file directory (55 items)
Topic: group names (16 items)
Topic: hypertext nodes made of names (13 items)
Topic: locating named objects by broadcast (9 items)
Topic: mobile code (14 items)
Topic: namespace (19 items)
Topic: naming authority (7 items)
Topic: renaming (10 items)
Topic: routing electronic mailing (12 items)
Topic: symbol table (4 items)
Topic: unique names (58 items)
Topic: using an address as a name (22 items)
Topic: using a description as a name
(21 items)

Updated barberCB 9/04
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Thesa is a trademark of C. Bradford Barber.