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Blocks Colon [Re: Internet File System]
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# The other day, it occurred to me that Java could really take off if there
# was some sort of file system. And, since you can't write to local files
# with Java, the obvious solution is to set up the 'fopen, fclose(), etc)
# set of functions that are 'rpcs' to some server application on the same
# computer as the web server the applet comes from.
Here's my crypto-friendly design for this.
Define a new TCP protocol called "Blocks Colon".
It forms URLs like
This protocol is similar to a "block device" in unix,
with basic operations to read and write 512-octet blocks,
named by an integer index. Other operations are to ask the size
of the block file, to change its size, to commit/abort changes,
and session authentication (like a POP server).
Then in the JAVA box you need
-- a class implementing a 'filesystem' (files & directories)
on a "block device"
-- a "block encryption" filter
-- a "block device" client using the "blocks colon" protocol
So your program uses the filesystem object, which uses
the block encryption filter, which uses the block client,
which goes to your ISP's block service. The internet and
your ISP sees nothing but encrypted blocks. The encryption key
never leaves your personal java box.
Your ISP charges you by the block/hour for storage, and by the number
of blocks read/written for network. You could keep a backup
blocks account at another ISP, and keep the two blocks mirrored
(another filter?) or run occasional backups.
What annoys me is that java.io.* defines specific classes for
filesystem access, rather than a "factory class" and thereafter
nothing but interfaces. That makes it difficult to override
the "builtin" notion of a filesystem with network-based or
crypto-based filesystems, without changing your programs,
or tampering with the builtin classes. :(
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