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Filesystem Daemons as a Unifying Mechanism for Network Information Access

Steve Summit
Consultant, Seattle, Washington


As the Net burgeons, new tools and protocols are being introduced to permit some orderly use to be made of the wealth of information available. These new protocols, however, often presuppose the use of new, nonstandard, highly interactive user interfaces. This paper presents a mechanism for unifying access to diverse network services through filesystem daemons, which allow network information services to be treated as if they were conventional files and directories, residing in the local namespace, and accessed transparently with standard tools. Besides normal filesystem operations ("open", "read", "write", etc.), the daemons may introduce extended operations, which provide generic access to such features as network database lookup operations.

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