Object files in UNIX Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/s4655j76w

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  • Object files are named active entities (processes) in the UNIX file system graph which provide services. Services are solicited by using the object file's pathname in any system call. Other continuing services can be obtained by opening an object file (which creates an communication path to the object) or by changing the current directory of a process into the object file. An object file is not necessarily a single named entity. A full namespace may be implemented by the object file which is mounted on the path to the object file node. Entities in this namespace are referenced by the suffix string which follows the path to the object node. These entities can be any anything which is managed by the object process (e.g. new types of files, devices on a network, windows, ...). The object process is the common site which is contacted for all manipulations of these entities. Communication between the object and client processes is handled by a remote procedure call (RPC) protocol which passes parameters of the following types: data, channels and identification. When used between two processes on different machines, this protocol provides the basis for a distributed file system. The remote file manipulation occurs by executing system calls on a file passed as a channel parameter to a site which is not the native site of that file. This RPC protocol uses IP as its transport layer for communication between the two sites. In a network environment, object files insulate the object and client processes from nameservers, network addresses, and protocols. The basic interface between the client and object is the system call protocol (SCP). This layer of software converts individual system calls into RPCs. It is the individual SCP operations which form the alphabet in which the object process reads service requests and writes replies to these requests. This thesis will describe the UNIX implementation of object files and how object files can be used to implement software which previously would have required extensive kernel modification.
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